Stander's wife remembers last words

2013-01-06 07:14

Durban - Olympic cyclist Burry Stander's last words to his wife of less than a year were "I love you", said the Sunday Times.

Speaking through a family friend, Cherise Stander told the newspaper that she spoke to her husband over the phone about two hours before he was hit and killed by a taxi on Thursday.

He had been on a solo 100km training ride from Port Shepstone to Port Edward.

"He phoned at the halfway mark in Port Edward just to check in [with me]. He said he was excited about having a strong tailwind for the ride back," Stander's wife was quoted as saying.

"He ended the conversation with 'I love you'... Those were the last words he ever said to me."

The taxi driver who was alleged to have knocked down the 25-year-old cyclist would appear in the Port Shepstone Magistrate's Court on Monday where he would face a charge of culpable homicide.

Stander was fifth in the men's cross country race at the 2012 London Olympics. Four years earlier, at the Beijing Games, he finished 15th in the cross country event at the age of 20.

The following season he rose to prominence on the global stage when he won the Under-23 title in the Mountain bike World Cup series.

In 2011, he became the first South African to win the Cape Epic stage race in the Western Cape, with Swiss partner Christoph Sauser. The pair defended their title in 2012.

  • Sibusiso - 2013-01-06 07:35

    Where is the taxi driver right now?Is he out on bail or is he already behind bars?

      eidel.bock - 2013-01-06 07:51

      He was apprehended released and will appear in court tomorrow. (Monday)

      colin.dovey - 2013-01-06 08:33

      His race is irrelevant @lucas - at the age of only 25 he had already made a name for himself - apart from being one of our 2012 Olympic Games heroes: These are the "races" that ARE important though.... 2012 2nd in Pietermaritzburg, Mountainbike (RSA) 2012 2nd in Pietermaritzburg, Mountainbike (b) (RSA) 2012 3rd in Nove Mesto na Morave, Mountainbike (CZE) 2012 1st in Windham, Mountainbike (USA) 2012 1st in National Championship, Mountainbike, XC, Elite, South Africa We bow our heads to the "races" of a national hero.

      koos.meyer.52 - 2013-01-06 09:09

      Racist scum!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      coral.soar.9 - 2013-01-06 11:49

      Lucas you are a waste of space and an oxygen thief are a stupid ignorant f**king idiot....

      coral.soar.9 - 2013-01-06 11:54

      Well said Kevin and Lucas IN YOUR FACE!!!!!

      piet.swart.946 - 2013-01-06 16:15

      I find some of the contributions here very petty. Why are so many people always looking for a racial hook to hang their opinions on? Fatal road accidents involving trucks, cars, motor cycles, bicycles or pedestrians happen the world over. In South Africa the problem is not just the minibus taxi industry. It is multifactorial, including our speed limit which should be 100 km/h, a culture of lawlessness, and especially our aggressive South African mindset, as evidenced by our high incidence of road rage. It is certainly not a racial thing. We are just all part of a sick society, for many reasons, with road carnage being one of the symptoms. My condolences to the family of Mr. Stander, a gifted individual and national hero. However, he probably knew better than most, that using a road is an endeavour with risks. Especially on foot, or riding a bicycle.

  • lara.vanrooyen.1 - 2013-01-06 07:39

    This is so very sad.

  • hanekomvisser - 2013-01-06 08:01

    @lucas.khasi, STOP playing the "race" card, this is not a white/black thing! Grow up, it's the law of SA, nobody is blaming the government, it was a tragic accident, someone lost their life and it must be investigated. This is why there will never be peace in SA, because for some people it will always be about colour of your skin?

  • themba.thwala.775 - 2013-01-06 08:12

    Stander was a well-known and popular athlete who was clearly committed to and loved South Africa warts and all, and a loving and responsible family man. Those a rare attributes. It's very sad to lose a countryman of his calibre. Taxi drivers, well, they will always behave like taxi drivers. Hopefully Stander's death will spur the powers that be into a more concerted and focused action to safeguard the lives of all road users, and especially pedestrians and cyclists.

      leaproach.thekeeper - 2013-01-06 08:50

      BS Twala. Taxi drivers drive in such way because the Government allows them to do so!

      koos.meyer.52 - 2013-01-06 09:12

      Thanks Themba, can't believe how some others are such racists producing the race card - it's an acknowledgement of low intelligence depicting an inability to think and the fallback is always the race card.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-01-06 09:17

      I assume you did not read my last paragraph. If you did, try to read slowly in order to ensure that you properly understand it. Then tell me about your BS

      fidelity.mcoshi - 2013-01-06 09:34

      leaproach, I hold no brief for the current government, but trying to assign every social ill in this country to the government is not helping. The culture of lawlessness in this country dates back pre 1994. Blame the taxi industry if you must. Like the kid who cried wolf when there was no wolf present, only to be eaten when his tactic roused no action from his listeners, I can only hope that, at some point in time, people like you will learn to vent their spleen where it's most applicable.

      julio.sanfona - 2013-01-06 12:33

      Well said but don't hold your breath while waiting for the authorities to improve the situation on our roads, taxis and all.

  • mfanah.radebe - 2013-01-06 08:44

    condolences to the family

  • mfanah.radebe - 2013-01-06 08:44

    condolences to the family and fans

  • graeme.potgieter - 2013-01-06 09:04

    Unfortunatly another sad incident.a sad loss.but also hopefully a wake up call to all other cyclists out there that acyclists has acsess to the road but does not own the road as we often see cyclists riding in the middle of the road and they dont get out of the way for cars and if you hoot at them they swear at you.i think that cyclists should pay more attention to their own saftey riding on our roads.and also to wake up motorists attitides towards cyclists.i was a cyclists my self but stopped due to the dangers on the road.condolences to the family

  • pieter.vanaswegen.3 - 2013-01-06 09:04

    Not saying Burry was guilty of anything,I feel for his wife and family and all other cyclists that have sucumb in vehicle accidents, however I did our club ride on Saturday and took notice of how many cyclists had no rear or front warning lights on, despite very overcast conditions. On a guess only about 5% of the cyclist and even less of all cyclists riding in the Cradle. To ensure our own safety we as cyclists should ensure that we are as visible as we can be on the road. A set of cycle lights does not cost a arm or leg but could save your life.

  • kitty2wp - 2013-01-06 09:14

    The majority of taxi drivers give a bad name to those minority taxi operators who put all their goodness and all they know how to do into serving their communities. The criminal drivers break every rule on the road, have no respect for any other road users - they are a law unto themselves responsible for the deaths of 1000s a year - they have to be stopped and jail terms enforced!!!

  • KUSTAMK - 2013-01-06 09:17

    so its about race now? U people that are being racial about this matter should know that Stander was an active participant in the Cycling races, and today we hear he also won the race of being a loving husband to his wife and you because u skipped creche u trying to colour this picture with black and white. If u want to speak race please remember there is a family, friends and a whole lot of Africans that are hurting not because hes white and not black but because he has been a true South keep you colour pencils away from this HERO

  • Kombisa - 2013-01-06 09:19

    Such a pity, a real patriot, a role model, a pillar and an anchor of South Africa. It is a huge loss to lose a South African of his calibre. My condolences to family, may his soul rest in peace.

  • pieter.h.dewaal - 2013-01-06 09:24

    My sincere condolences goes to Stander's wife, family and Friends. I hope this high profile incident will make motorist respect and make them more aware of cyclists. Motorist tend to see cyclist and pedestrians as obstacles rather than a person that is much more fragile on the road than the motorist in his safe and cocooned car.

      ann.buhrer - 2013-01-06 21:22

      You are so right RESPECT is needed on our roads.

  • kosmonooit - 2013-01-06 10:34

    Burry was up there amongst the best athletes in the world, all cyclists in SA and around the world loved him, and this is an immense loss to all South Africans. If he was black or pink or whatever, we would have felt the same. It could have been any other motorist that turned in front of him, happens to me just every day in Jhb. Worst offenders in terms of jumping stop streets or turning in front of you (in my experience) are kugels in their luxury SUV's chatting on cellphones.

  • kenneth.fisher.750 - 2013-01-06 12:00

    Do News 24 ever moderate the comments in the peanut gallery? It never takes long on any story for the racist remarks to come out.

  • raulcharliebravo - 2013-01-06 12:26

    Hi Lucas Khasi, who to blame for you not having brains? God or your parents?

  • catherine.l.vanzyl - 2013-01-06 12:26

    As much as a Tragedy, and such a loss of a beloved life, no one knows when one clock will stop ticking here on earth. As much as I pray for the comfort of the family who lost Burry Stander, I also Pray for the Taxi driver, it was ultimately accident, this young driver must be suffering for the mistake that he made in his negligence, and have to bear the consequence that will now follow by law. Yes the community is angry and wants to vent understandably at this taxi driver, and he will have to be punished for his negligence, but forgiveness is the way forward to reconcile this sad loss of human life. It is not a race issue, any south African could have been the driver of this taxi, mind your insensitive spouting on both the living and the dead!

  • mmoledis - 2013-01-06 13:17

    As Africans we do not have to be Westernised,meaning living a Western life but as I have travelled a lot in Europe I have realised that cyclists are more important also and are respected on the roads by motorists whereby they even have a right of way than motorists,they have their special roads and also traffic lights like motorists and they obey those traffic laws like motorist do on a robbot so as the cyclist will do when it says stop he or she will stop and they too know all signs they should use to communicate with motorists like when he or she want to turn left or right,so our municipalities should create such roads for cyclists in the cities and urban areas. That will encourage people to make use of by bicycles and as such they will too be exercising as part of government health programs as they want people to keep fit and healthy.

  • annie.israel.50 - 2013-01-06 14:19

    This taxi driver should spend his miserable life behind bars WITHOUT PAROL - my heart goes out to his wife but unfortunately it will take a long time before the healing starts - i know, i lost my identical twin in a horrible way (6 years) ago but still get panic attacks (which is horrible)and can cry for days - this year i have made up my mind to focus on living again and with the help of God i will manage!

  • lorinda.carey - 2013-01-06 19:04

    Sincere condolences to both families - Cyclist Taxi Driver. Accidents do happen and regret the loss of another precious life.

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2013-01-06 20:21

    No more 'crap' about Taxi Drivers not being worse than anybody else on the road. I defy the Ministry of transport to publicise figures related to deaths on our roads, and compare the causes of fatalities between Taxi Drivers and 'normal' drivers... Taxi drivers cause probably 80% of deaths on our roads - but because many Taxi companies are owned by Police members and members of Government, all is swept under the carpet... Get your 'Act' to-gether......

  • ann.buhrer - 2013-01-06 21:17

    The loss of life on our roads is not about race - for goodness sake get over the race is about LIVES stolen from innocent because of the lack of respect for life - I wonder how many have been caused by potholes???? Vehicles which are not road worthy should be destroyed as is done in 1st world countries... WAKE UP and DO and stop talking!!!!!

  • Juju - 2013-01-06 23:46

    He was English, so I suppose he was a good South African. RIP fellow you had such dedication in what you were doing and I hope even the younger generations learnt something one or two from you.

      zaeemah.robinson - 2013-01-07 07:49

      Juju just a small point, from his name one must assume that Burry Stander was Afrikaanse rather than English. More to the point, he was South African and a hero to many of all races, colours and creeds. On another point on this tragic accident I didn't know that the taxi driver had already been found guilty as is indicated by many of the posted comments. Or are you all making the assumption that because it was a taxi this automatically makes the driver the guilty party? And lastly the comments about the taxi industry being founded "because the government wants the money" is obvious nonsense- the government gets tax money from bus companies but certainly not from the bulk of the taxi industry. That there are other vested interests however is not disputed.

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