Tragic end to imam's family outing
Jan Gerber, Die Burger
Cape Town - A family outing to the beach ended tragically for a Muslim cleric’s family on Sunday.
Imam Uthmaan Johnstone, 43, and his 3-year-old daughter died after their white Toyota station wagon collided with a red BMW sedan on Baden Powell Drive near Muizenberg at about 09:30.
The cause of the accident is still not clear.
According to ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks, two children from the Johnstone family were airlifted and another two were transported by ambulance to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch.
EMS spokesperson Angelique Jordaan said the four children were in a critical condition. Seven adults were also taken by ambulance to the Groote Schuur and Victoria Hospitals.
“Both drivers were trapped in their vehicles and had to be cut free with mechanical devices,” said Jordaan.
It was unclear how many people were involved in the accident. According to Jordaan, there were 13 people involved. Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said there were five people in the BMW and seven in the Toyota. Johnstone’s cousin, Mogamat Johnstone said at the scene that 14 people were involved in the accident.
He said his cousin and his family were heading to Muizenberg for a family outing.
“That man married me. He named my children,” said a grieving Johnstone.
“Today you see him, tomorrow he is gone.”
Johnstone feared that two of the children had possibly sustained brain damage.
Details about the BMW passengers have not been made public.
When reporters visited the scene, the red and white vehicles were both badly crumpled wreckages. The bodies of Imam Johnstone and his daughter were under a blue blanket in the road. Some distance away, a few men stood fishing, unaware of the tragedy.
Several police and traffic officials were on the scene and traffic was diverted away from the Muzenberg side of Baden Powell Drive for a while.
Van Wyk said police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.