Joe Mafela poses with his lifetime achievement award from the Comics' Choice Awards. Photo: Comics' Choice Awards
"The injuries were not visible… it looks like it could have been a medical condition," said Johannesburg Metro Police spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane.
The accident happened at 21:45 on Saturday on the M1 highway between Oxford Road and Houghton along a passage of road where construction is underway.
"Mr Mafela was driving a Ford Figo… He collided into the back of a bakkie on his left hand side."
The bakkie driver then lost control and went into the barricade, with its rear tyre breaking off.
She said an investigation was underway. A post-mortem would now be conducted to determine his cause of death.
Born in 1942 in Limpopo, Mafela was an award winning veteran of SA film, television, music and threatre.
He gained enormous fame in the 1980s for his role in the Zulu sitcom ‘Sgudi, ‘Snaysi. He was a popular star in Madam & Eve, Going Up and Shooting Stars.
He starred in a number of local and international films. He was also involved in various musicals, many of them pioneering representations of black South African experiences.