Taxi driver ‘was insensitive’

2013-10-23 00:00

ASIDE from being grief-stricken, Charles Stander, father of legendary cyclist Burry Stander, was also livid the January afternoon his son died after being knocked down by a minibus taxi, whose driver was more interested in returning to work.

Testifying in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court yesterday was Pangitis Basil Stergiopoulos, who said he watched taxi driver Njabulo Nyawose, charged with culpable homicide in connection with the incident, overtake other vehicles and make an abrupt turn to the right from Marine Drive into Stott Street.

“The driver missed the turn. He reversed, moved forward and reversed until he was at the level with the turn. While we were watching his manoeuvre, we noticed that there was somebody lying on the ground under the taxi. I didn’t see the impact, but I just saw the cyclist lying on the ground,” testified Stergiopoulos.

In the aftermath, as Burry lay on the ground, Nyawose approached the elder Stander and repeatedly asked how long it would take before he could leave the scene as he was in a hurry to return to his job.

“While we were still attending to the injured man and also making phone calls, the taxi driver came to the father and asked how long the whole thing would take. He asked if he could go because he was in a hurry and that he was at work.

“Emotions were high, and the father of the deceased got angry and started yelling at the taxi man. The driver commented that he had done nothing wrong. He was insensitive and he gestured at us,” said Stergiopoulos.

Forensic pathologist Dr Lindani Wilson Nyawose testified that Burry had sustained multiple minor injuries to the surfaces of his head, neck and chest. His right lung was bruised and the joint in the upper part of the spine, which controls the movement of the head, was fractured. His spinal cord was severed, but not entirely. “The deceased’s external injuries were too superficial, but his organs were filled with blood so he suffered internal bleeding.”

Stander (25) was returning from a training ride when he was hit by the minibus taxi. He died at the scene.

The trial resumes on November 28 and 29 for further testimony.

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