KZN tycoon's inspiring gift

2010-01-16 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Howick property developer Rob Taylor’s gift of a R2 million car to a group of Cape Town car guards has inspired them to help others, and the latest beneficiaries will be Haiti’s earthquake victims.

The unusual gift has been widely reported, but the giver’s identity has so far been a mystery. Now Cape Town paper Die Burger has established that it was Taylor, who is well known for his love of fast cars, one of them being a Lamborghini Diablo.

He bought the Audi R8 5,2 for R2,03 million in Cape Town last year, and gave it to a group of eight car guards who work at the Table Mountain cable car station, along with R20 000, at Christmas time.

Martin Nahimana, one of the guards who received the unusual gift, said yesterday that Taylor inspired them to collect money for charity.

The car guards have cut a slot into the bonnet of the car (which covers the boot, the engine being at the rear) through which the public can slide money for charity. The words “A future for all” appear around the slot.

They have already supplied about R5 000 worth of food to homeless people sleeping under Cape Town’s bridges, and say they have the victims of the Haiti earthquake in their sights next.

“The man just started talking to us and saw how we were struggling. He was shocked and asked me to go with him in the car so that he could hand the car’s papers to me,” Nahimana said yesterday.

Nahimana then had to hop into the driver’s seat of the sports car himself and drive it to a car dealer. “The man bought himself a scooter and handed the keys and a receipt for the car to me,” Nahimana said.

“I could not believe it. I didn’t want to drive away, but he left there on his scooter.

“I was scared and confused for about an hour, but he said I should take the keys and drive back to the mountain.

“He said the car belongs to us all.”

Nahimana said that initially his colleagues thought he had stolen the car.

Taylor apparently told the car guards to “spread the message of charity”.

“Learn to share with one ano­ther. The life of a car guard can also change and he can drive an expensive car,” Taylor told the guards, according to Nahimana.

“Now we must spread the message. Rich and poor have to share with one another,” he said.

Nahimana says their biggest problem is that the Metro police have pulled them off the road 15 times already — convinced the car is stolen — but every time they have been able to produce the appropriate documents.

Nahimana says he doesn’t think Taylor is crazy.

“In Haiti, people had to sleep in the street because they were too scared to sleep in the buildings,” he said. “We will rather collect money for them than sell the car.”

The car’s papers are made out to the Angel’s Way Trust in Howick and the car was paid for in cash.

Taylor did not answer his cellphone yesterday.

In 2006, Taylor and his beloved Lamborghini Diablo were in the news when he was trapped at 207 km/h on the N3 near Camperdown, and offered to lend the traffic cop the car — to punish himself.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.