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ANC official not arrested for hit-and-run in viral video – but he was arrested for crash on same weekend

This article is more than 4 years old

On 11 June 2019 a horrific video of a motorcyclist being hit from behind and run over by a white bakkie (a small truck) at a traffic stop in Bloemfontein went viral on social media in South Africa.

Ten days later a graphic was posted to a bikers’ forum on Facebook, claiming an official from the ruling African National Congress had been arrested for the incident. It shows a still from the video and a photo of the victim, 22-year-old Jason Pieters.

The text reads: “The ANC’s regional secretary Kathazile Tolong was arrested only a week after 11 June 2019, when Kolong conducted a hit-and-run assault with his vehicle scooping up the Afrikaner mechanic Jason Pieters with his bike and nearly killing him. He was released for a mere R1,000 while Jason recovers at Pelanomi hospital.”

Two motorbike crashes in Bloemfontein

But news sites reported that there were two crashes involving motorcycles in Bloemfontein on the weekend of 8 and 9 June.

Pieters was hit by a white bakkie, as the viral video shows, on the evening of Saturday 8 June. On Sunday morning, 20-year-old Jeremy Barnard was hit and injured by a red bakkie. The driver fled the scene.

On 20 June the Bloemfontein Courant reported that the driver of the red bakkie that hit Barnard had allegedly been identified as Khathazile Tolong, 43. He was arrested and appeared in court on 18 June, where he was granted bail of R1,000.

The report added that “nobody has been arrested as yet” for the hit and run on Pieters, but that the police’s “investigation is still ongoing”.

‘Tolong taken in by law enforcement’

The Facebook page of the ANC’s Pixley ka Seme region identifies Khathazile Tolong as its regional secretary.

On 19 June the page published a statement on the accident, confirming that Tolong had been “taken in by law enforcement for questioning concerning a traffic violation incident which took place in Bloemfontein over the weekend of 08 June 2019”.

Khathazile Tolong was indeed involved in a road crash and was arraigned in court on 18 June 2019. But he was charged for the crash involving Jeremy Barnard, not Jason Pieters. 

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