Deputy Premier Khupe’s mother dies

JOHANNESBURG – The mother of Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, Catherene Mabhiza, has died, the MDC party said in a statement on Thursday.\r\n

Khupe’s mother died at a South African hospital where she was receiving medical attention for injuries sustained in a car crash in Zimbabwe early last month.

“She died this morning at Arcadia Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, where she had gone for treatment following a fatal car accident along the Harare-Bulawayo Road on 10 February, 2009, which killed the Vice President’s aide, Timond Dube,” said the statement.

She will be buried in Bulawayo on Sunday.

Mabhiza was travelling to Harare to attend her daughter’s swearing in as Deputy Prime Minister last month when, according to Zimbabwean police, the vehicle she was travelling in hit another car leaving her with head injuries.

"A Toyota Vigo, which was driving towards Harare was involved in a road traffic accident when it hit another vehicle, a Santana which suddenly made a U-turn in front of the Vigo,” said police at the time of the accident, adding; "A woman aged 71 and believed to be Ms Khupe’s mother sustained some lacerations and was taken to Kwekwe General Hospital . . ."

The death of Khupe’s mother comes about three works after MDC president and Zimbabwe’s new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai lost his wife Susan in a road accident in which he escaped with head injuries.

Tsvangirai’s wife died shortly after a truck belonging to an HIV/AIDS aid project funded by the British and American governments slammed into the vehicle the couple was travelling in along the Harare-Masvingo highway causing it to roll over three times.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a power-sharing government last month in which the MDC deputy president Khupe is one of the two deputy premiers and Arthur Mutambara, who heads a breakaway faction of the MDC, the other.