Runaway taxi rams home

2013-02-16 00:00

YET another accident in which a vehicle has rammed into a house has claimed the life of a 23-year-old taxi driver in Hammarsdale. No one in the house was injured.

Nkululeko Mngadi was just 200 metres away from his home when the brakes on the taxi he was driving apparently failed and it crashed into a house on a sharp bend in Kunene Road, Unit 2.

His distraught father, Lucky Mngadi, told Weekend Witness that his son had come home in the mid-morning, complaining about the brakes on his taxi.

“He took my toolbox and fixed the taxi. When he finished, he returned my toolbox and keys, and said I should check my car’s front wheel as it needed some air. Then he left.”

A few minutes later, he received a call saying his son had been involved in an accident at a nearby intersection.

“I rushed there. He was trapped in the wreckage of the taxi and was still breathing. I wanted to help him. I wanted to fetch my grinder from home so I could cut open the taxi.”

A neighbour produced a tool they used to cut Mngadi out of the wreckage. But it was too late as he had stopped breathing.

His friend, Ayanda Nzimande, whose family the taxi belongs to, said Mngadi was like a brother to him.

“He loved the taxi so much and he would fix it himself if it needed minor repairs, like changing the brake pads. He started working for our family last year.

“He wanted his taxi to be better than any other taxi so that commuters would use it and feel safe.”

Family and friends described Mngadi as a taxi driver who was well loved by the community and one who always put safety first. They said he treated his passengers well.

Phumzile Ngubo, the owner of the house, said it was the second accident at her house in less than two months.

“I was bathing when I heard the big bang … I rushed out to see what had happened. I was surprised to see that the taxi had just run through the gate and destroyed my garage.

“In December, a car crashed into the other side of the house, but no one was injured. I can’t explain how I feel about this,” she said in disbelief.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated.

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