Big loss for Copesville

2016-05-04 08:32
Jonathan Govender, who died in an accident while he was returning from Albert Falls with his sons on Monday evening.

Jonathan Govender, who died in an accident while he was returning from Albert Falls with his sons on Monday evening. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A father and sons’ day out fishing at the dam turned tragic when ‘good Samaritan’ Jonathan Govender (36) died in an accident on Monday evening.

Govender and his two sons, Eric (15) and Ryan (12), spent the public holiday fishing at Albert Falls dam — a regular outing for the family.

On their way home, a taxi crashed into Govender’s red Golf on the R33 at around 6.30 pm on Monday. Govender was declared dead at the scene.

Pieter Rossouw, a spokesperson for ER24, said the two teenage sons were rushed to hospital with minor to moderate injuries. Rossouw said no one from the taxi sustained injuries.

A relative, who asked not to be named, described Govender as a “very giving, selfless” man who went out of his way to assist anyone in need. “He never turned anyone down when they asked for help. He was forever willing to help anyone in need,” said the relative.

He said Govender’s wife, Michelle, and the rest of the family were reeling from shock over the incident.

“Eric has been discharged from hospital but Ryan is still at Grey’s Hospital. It is sad to lose anyone close to you but this was too sudden,” said the relative.

Govender, who lived in Copesville, was known for his good deeds in the neighbourhood. He was the manager of the Copesville Unique Football Club and also belonged to the Maritzburg Saints Senior Football Club. “Jonathan did not have a lot of money to start an academy. He just took a soccer ball to the ground and called the boys to play and that was how the team was born. He wanted to give the boys a meaningful pastime,” said the relative.

Speaking on behalf of the Copesville Unique Football Club, Trecardht Paul said the team were in shock after receiving the news. “He always gave his best on and off the field and he was someone we all looked up too. He was someone we could be open with,” said Paul.

He said the death of their manager has “broken the link on our soccer family chain” and it would be a painful experience for the team to play again.

“He made so many sacrifices for us all. I know he was a big family man and included his team in his family,” added Paul.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accident

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