Acting President sends condolences on death of Presidential Protection officer

Acting President, Angie Motshekga, has conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the family of the Presidential Protection Services (PPS) member, who was killed in an accident on Sunday.
Warrant Officer, Thomas Shongwe, along with others, was on duty with Deputy President David Mabuza when the accident occurred in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.
Motshekga’s spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said three members of the PPS, who were in one of the vehicles, sustained serious injuries and Shongwe, 56, was confirmed dead at the scene.
The other two were transported to a nearby hospital for urgent medical attention.
“The Acting President has sent her condolences to the Shongwe family, friends and colleagues. She has also wished a speedy recovery to the two injured PPS members,” Mhlanga said.
The other Warrant Officer, who sustained injuries, has since been discharged, while the Captain is still in a critical condition in hospital.
Motshekga will visit the affected families, and engage the Shongwe family and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in preparation for the funeral of the deceased member.
SAPS said in-house Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) professionals, consisting of chaplains, psychologists and social workers, continue to provide spiritual and psychosocial support to the families and colleagues.
Born and bred in Nelspruit, Shongwe had 31 years of uninterrupted service, having joined the organisation in 1991 as a student constable, said police spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe.
“For the duration of his service, the member was attached to the Division: Protection Security Services (PSS), where he served as an in-transit VIP protector. From 1994 to 2018, the member was responsible for rendering protection services to the office of the Premier in Mpumalanga.
“The member was later transferred to the Presidential Protection Services (PPS) component from 2018 to date, where he served as a close protector for the current Deputy President,” Mathe said.
National Police Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola, said an investigation is underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident.
“The death of the member is not only a great loss to the organisation but also the community at large. He has been described by his immediate commanders as a quiet, punctual, committed and disciplined member, who served his country with distinction.
“On behalf of the SAPS management, we offer our condolences to his family and loved ones, and also wish the injured members a speedy recovery,” said Masemola.
Shongwe is survived by his wife and three children.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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