Heroic N3 trucker did not die alone

2012-05-30 00:00

THE last thing Shona Naicker expected when she went shopping at the Liberty Midlands Mall on Monday was that she would try to comfort a dying stranger.

Naicker held the hand of Zimbabwean truck driver George Mbanda (37) as he lay in the mangled wreck of his horse and trailer after his horror crash on the N3.

Mbanda, who was transporting steel from Johannesburg to Durban, is survived by his pregnant wife Betty and two children.

Naicker told The Witness that she and her sister, a nurse, had just come out of the mall’s parking lot when they witnessed the accident.

They immediately ran across to the scene to try to offer assistance.

It was like an earthquake had struck and the truck was reduced to pieces, she said.

“I couldn’t see him. He was trying to move his legs and hands.”

Naicker said they were the first people on the scene and because of the way the truck had overturned, it was impossible to reach him.

However, through a narrow gap she was able to hold his hand,

“We held hands. I told him that help was on its way. I was praying hard for recovery and for God’s angels to do their work.

“He was squeezing my hand with all his strength and didn’t want to let go, I said ‘Jesus loves you’ then he went through a violent jag and he died.”

Naicker said she was still shaken.

“He wasn’t crying. He tried making a sound but was just pressing my hand.”

She described the driver as a “hero” for trying to avoid a bigger tragedy.

She saw Mbanda swerve to avoid a petrol tanker that could have exploded had his truck collided with it, before the horse and trailer lost control and overturned at high speed.

Naicker, who lost her 22-year-old daughter three months ago, said she returned to the car afterwards and sobbed.

It would have been her daughter’s birthday.

“I’m so glad Mbanda didn’t die alone.”

Naicker had been in contact with Betty Mbanda, who had asked what her husband’s last words were.

“His wife kept asking me, ‘What did he say?’ I said, ‘nothing, he just kept holding my hand’.”

Mbanda’s family in Vereeniging are distraught.

His aunt, Asanda, told The Witness Mbanda was the family’s sole breadwinner and worked hard.

“We’re now waiting for his body from Pietermaritzburg so that we can take it to Zimbabwe. We don’t know how, where to go or even have means to get to KZN,” she said.

Mbanda’s boss at Spyke Logistics, Balan Rajoo, said the driver had worked for the company for four years.

“The trucks get checked before the drivers can load goods. We can’t speculate about what happened because we were not there,” Rajoo said.

“He was a good person. It’s difficult to replace people. It’s really sad,” he added.

The company would offer Mabanda’s family support.

The Road Traffic Inspectorate said yesterday it believed the truck’s brakes jammed on Town Hill.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.