Another death during Bike Week

2011-05-03 00:00

ANOTHER visitor to Margate has died during Africa Bike Week.

Sidney Church (58), of Pretoria, was reported dead yesterday by friends in the flat he had rented at Indigo Bay.

Sources told The Witness that Church and some friends had been partying on Sunday night, but the circumstances of his death could not be established.

Margate police were told of Church’s death shortly before noon yesterday.

Said spokesperson Captain Gerald Mfeka,“The cause of death remains unknown at this point. However, a thorough investigation is under way.”

Mfeka added that some of Church’s friends were still at the flat when police arrived at the scene.

“Once a port-mortem has been conducted, we will be able to establish how the man died. We can’t speculate at this stage,” said Mfeka.

A source close to the incident confirmed that Church and his friends had been partying into the early hours of the morning, despite Indigo Bay’s strict “no noise after 10 pm” policy.

The source said, “The guys were loud and I’m sure there was a lot of drinking going on. I’ve been in the area for many years, and this is the first time I’ve seen so many police vehicles outside a flat.

“When I saw the mortuary van, I was very concerned. This is a real shock.”

Church’s death is the second known incident that occurred during Africa Bike Week — a week-long festival that attracted thousands of bikers to Margate.

Two bikers were involved in a serious accident near Shelly Beach on Friday, apparently when they rear-ended a car.

The pillion passenger, a woman, died before paramedics arrived and the driver sustained severe head injuries.

The incident occurred on the R61 near Shelly Beach. It brought traffic to a standstill and temporarily closed the main road.

Paramedics said the cause of the accident and events leading up to it remain unclear and will be the subject of a police investigation.

The woman was dead before they arrived, the police said.

Netcare911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said paramedics arrived at the scene to find the car had been travelling north towards Durban when the bike slammed into it.

While the reaction to Bike Week has been mostly positive, some locals were relieved that the week-long festival was over.

Louis Kriek, a Margate resident, said he was glad that the town was back to normal.

“Traffic was unacceptable. The general party mood and debauchery are great for tourism, but for residents it was a bit of a headache,” said Kriek.

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