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Accidents claim two young dads

The lives of two young breadwinners were tragically claimed in separate accidents on Helderberg roads during the season of giving.

A 29-year-old father of two young children was struck down and killed by a heavy vehicle on the N2 in Somerset West on Monday 30 December, and a 31-year-old taxi driver was fatally injured after being hit by a drunken taxi driver while changing a flat tyre on the R44 on New Year’s Day.

The family of pedestrian Malven Nyakunhuwa from Zola was plunged into mourning after he was knocked down by a waste removal truck near the corner of De Beers Avenue and the N2 opposite the high school at 07:05 on Monday morning, Somerset West police spokesperson Sergeant Suzan Jantjies said.

“He was declared dead on the scene. Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.”

Jantjies said eyewitnesses claim that the deceased stepped into moving traffic.

According to the Nyakunhuwa’s elder brother Nyasa (33), he was apparently on his way to the dentist at a Strand shopping centre when he was struck. He had intended to accompany him there around midmorning.

But at the time he was visiting his wife at Macassar Community Health Centre, where she had given birth to their newborn three days before.

Nyasa learnt of his brother’s tragic fate after he was missing that evening and he had gone out in search of him especially after several failed attempts by him and others to reach Nyakunhuwa telephonically. Nyasa went to Helderberg Hospital and the Lwandle Police Station.

He recalled: “Lwandle police mentioned said there had been an accident and that I should go to the Somerset West Police Station for more information. There I was provided with a description that matched my brother, and confirmation that it was indeed he who had been killed.”

Nyasa expressed very deep sadness over the loss of his brother, whom he described as a “genuinely cool guy”.

Nyakunhuwa is survived by his wife and two children, a four-year-old daughter and a month-old son.

In the accident of Wednesday 1 January, Ziyanda Langman (31) from Bloekombos died after stopping on the R44 opposite a popular estate restaurant to change a tyre on the taxi he was driving around 22:00, Jantjies said.

“According to eyewitnesses the driver was hit by another passing taxi while changing the flat. He died on the scene.”

“We are shocked and very upset,” the deceased’s uncle, Maurice Russia, said, “Especially since it was an accident and there is nothing one can do about it.”

Russia recalled receiving the tragic news from Ziyanda’s co-driver, who contacted him after the incident. He said Ziyanda had been transporting a group of youngsters who were returning from a day at Strand Beach when a tyre burst.

He was attending to the flat when he was struck by a speeding taxi.

The incident occurred in view of the 14 young passengers.

Ziyanda is survived by two children of five and seven years old, and a 14-year-old brother.

The 44-year-old taxi driver who struck him was charged with culpable homicide and drunken driving, and appeared in the Somerset West Magistrates’ Court on Monday (6 January). The case was postponed until 16 April.

Anyone with additional information that could aid the police in their investigations can contact the investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Collin Pieters, at Somerset West CID on 021 850 1344.

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