Tanzania, Ghana ex-leaders in crash

JOHANNESBURG – THE former presidents of Tanzania and Ghana were involved in a car crash in Johannesburg on Thursday while on their way to a conference, and one of the two ex-rulers was briefly admitted in hospital, officials said.

Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania was taken

to Johannesburg’s Morningside Clinic for checks after the early morning accident. Hospital officials said he was unharmed and had been released.

“He just seemed to be in shock, and was taken to hospital to make sure he is OK,” said Felix Mwijarubi, an official at Tanzania’s High Commission in Pretoria.

Nana Rawlings, wife of Ghana’s ex-President Jerry Rawlings, was taken to another hospital in the South African city after the car in which Mwinyi was travelling rammed into the rear of the one ferrying the Rawlings to the meeting.

She too was released from hospital after a check revealed no injuries, an official involved in organising the meeting said.

A police spokeswoman had said Nana Rawlings was slightly injured.

Mwinyi and Rawlings were in a convoy of several police-escorted cars taking 10 former African leaders to the start of a two-day meeting on U.S.-Africa relations, an annual event held at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Former U.S. ambassador Charles Stith, who is involved in organising the meeting, said both Mwinyi and Nana attended the session and had gone to hospital just for precautionary checks.

“Both were at the meeting, they participated fully and are now freshening up to attend a dinner event,” Stith told Reuters, adding that the accident had been a minor one.

None of the other former African leaders who participated in the conference, including Kenya’s Daniel arap Moi and Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda, was involved in the accident on a busy Johannesburg road. — Reuter