Dad nabs hit ’n run drunk

2009-09-18 00:00

TAXI owner Thabani Ngubane risked his life yesterday to chase to a hit-and-run driver who had just knocked down and seriously injured a child in Berg Street.

The Imbali resident caught up with the fleeing driver in the middle of busy Old Greytown Road, confiscating his car keys and forcing him to wait for the police.

Siphesihle Mlotshwa (7) was severely injured and is being treated at Grey’s Hospital after being run over by a maroon Golf GTI while on his way home from school.

The Witness has established that the Golf driver was 10 times over the alcohol limit.

Ngubane said he was on his way to fetch his own child from school.

“My kid lives with my mother and I had been thinking about the fact that I had not been in to see my mother to check on how things were going and to give her some money. So I thought since it was already 2 pm I might as wait for the child and go see my mother when I drop the child at home.”

In Berg Street, a car zoomed past him.

“You know how children are when they cross the road. They first peek to see if there are any cars and then run across the road, but that guy was driving so fast, the kid didn’t have a chance,” said Ngubane.

The next thing he saw was Siphesihle being hit. He flew into the air and struck the windscreen. Ngubane said the driver didn’t stop, but just kept right on as if nothing had happened.

“As a parent, all I could think about was my child. The question going through my mind was that if I was them, I would want someone to intervene,” said Ngubane.

So when the driver went through red robots, he followed in his Toyota Condor. And when the fleeing driver turned into Pietermaritz Street, Ngubane turned at the next road so the Golf driver would not be suspicious. He even drove along the pavement. They met again between Church and East streets, and Ngubane caught up with the offender at the Masukwane taxi rank.

Parking his car right in front of the offender’s car, Ngubane was assisted by the fact that a taxi was coming into the taxi rank, blocking his escape route.

“I asked him what he was doing and whether he was drunk. But I think he was still shocked. I just grabbed his car keys away from him.”

Ngubane said this led to a serious verbal fight, and he was even called a “k****r”.

But because he had stopped in the middle of the road and had drawn a crowd, he knew he had the man where he wanted them.

“I saw a municipality van. I stopped and asked them to call police, who were there within minutes,” said a satisfied Ngubane.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said the 27-year-old driver will appear in court today.

He faces three counts: driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless and negligent driving and failing to stop after an accident.

“The SAPS commends the motorist for his vigilance and assistance in the apprehension of the suspect,” Jeevan said.

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