Two cyclists killed by cop van

2012-01-02 18:19

Cape Town - Two cyclists were knocked off their tandem cycle this morning on the R550 south of Alberton in Gauteng by a police van, killing them.

Helivac spokesperson J P Van Tonder says they were called in to help identify the cyclists, whose names are being withheld until their next-of-kin are informed.

The incident happened near the well-known landmark Lido hotel and conference centre on the R550 south of Alberton just after 11:00 this morning (Monday).

The cycling fraternity is in shock, after what is apparently the second cycle accident this week.

The cycling website thehubsa was agog with comment.

Thug said: "How tragic, RIP. Is this not a route with Bicycle warning signs ?"

Swart Piet wrote: "This makes me cross beyond words. How the hell do you not see a bicycle in bright daylight on an open road like that. And then its the people that's suppose to protect us that are killing us.

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of these two cyclists. RIP." 

The SAPS will be investigating the incident further.

  • Andre - 2012-01-02 18:29

    Is that the cop van in the distance that hit them. How fast was it going?

      Bert - 2012-01-02 18:38

      Andre, you'll never know. This road is so wide and open you would practically have to aim your vehicle at a cyclist to hit him/her. Some of these cretins are driving around without full licenses. I think South Africa has arrived and joined all the other merry countries on this continent. Time to change it's name, so as not to besmirch that which was a proud country.

      theO rAcLe - 2012-01-02 19:17

      Is this one of those SAPS drivers that come off driver training where they sit at stop signs for 20 mins in a golf with 6 SAPS occupants, pathetic...

      Heinrich - 2012-01-02 19:24

      Andre : This has nothing to do with speed. It has, however, everything to do with driving ability, alertness, consideration, anticipation, and a host of other factors. This is not an accident. This is murder by negligence and/or incompetence.(My view)

      Jonathon - 2012-01-02 19:33

      I may not know the full details of this terrible accident but I will say this. As negligent as some drivers can be, cyclists need to be more careful too. In our area they ride in some of the most congested places and have little regard for proper road signals and a driver’s blind spot. It’s easy to blame the driver but it works two ways and as a driver, I wouldn’t mind a bit more respect from their side.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-02 19:40

      I understand that people enjoy cycling and riding motorbikes, but I just would not take the chance with the condition of some roads and the driving habits of many of our motorists. Parents, keep your kids off motorbikes and limit where they can ride their bikes.

      craigtjames - 2012-01-02 20:08

      Jonathon, I think many might agree with cyclist having to do their bit as well - responsibility sits with all road users. However, 2 cyclists get knocked down and killed - I do not believe that the vehicle was driving at 60km an hour to cause 2 deaths of cyclists - and if you look where this cop ended up - I am pretty sure will be proven at a later stage was traveling far faster than what he should have. And we know speed limits are there for a reason.

      John - 2012-01-02 20:16

      Friday, 09 of December, cars on the highway from Durban gave way to a political convoy with blue lights. Remembering 1 man killed by the Blue Light Brigade in Durban, and another in Jo'burg, I protested those murders and raised my finger as they drove past. They proceeded to block me and lunge their cars at me, as I swerved, slowed and pulled away. I held strong and steadfast in my protest! My family, however, were badly shaken. It is time that the ANC realizes that they are not above criticism and rejection, and also NOT ABOVE THE LAW! I expected them to zap me back, or even lay misdemeanor charges against me. But the public harassment and bullying shows that these mentals are in a mindset of their own. They need to be banished to Antarctica!

      Squeegee - 2012-01-02 20:59

      John the TROLL is back with his cut and paste special.

      Jonathon - 2012-01-02 22:09

      @craigtjames... Fair enough :-)

      Sharkshoot - 2012-01-03 09:02

      In Hillcrest, KZN the roads are barely wide enough for motor vehicles in the Winston Park area but we have to slow right down for arrogant and careless cyclists....just so we can use the road ourselves. Some cyclists have been killed by trucks on these very roads...and yet every day they are out there on their bikes doing the same thing. It's a vicious circle. Europeans have special cycle paths. In Africa the cyclists have a death wish.

      Willie - 2012-01-03 09:09

      It is high time we have designated lanes of cycles like the rest of the world(civilised ).South africans in general we just don't respect one another on our roads

      Bert - 2012-01-03 10:42

      John, go back to my comment, you now in Africa properlike baba! enjoy your zap, we not far away from Mad Bob days, then you'll probably disappear for such an action. I am in complete sympathy with you.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-01-02 18:31

    This is why I mountain bike, ... oh wait, we have IDIOTS in 4x4's as well.

      Azande - 2012-01-02 19:13

      hahaha that's funny..

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-02 19:47

      Careful @IcemanGP - they have mugged me on my Mountain bike......Bed Bugs are everywhere.....

      IcemanGP - 2012-01-03 10:16

      I think the 16 dislikes must be IDIOTS that drive 4x4's and talk on their phones.

  • craigtjames - 2012-01-02 18:32

    How in the world does this happen? This a fairly open road, 11 in the morning, sunshine. No man, this is awefull!!!!!

      Niekie - 2012-01-03 06:35

      I'm willing to bet good money that if you take the whole police force and have them properly tested, only a few will actually pass a drivers license test.

  • helen.cosnett - 2012-01-02 18:33

    Was the driver breathelised???? This is murder!!

      Betweenuandme - 2012-01-02 20:45

      Calm down woman!

      Bert - 2012-01-03 10:45

      Behave Helen, he's a cop! probably all p.....d, extended holiday season.

  • steph.reinstein - 2012-01-02 18:34

    Another case of the almighty blue light syndrome ...

      Anthony - 2012-01-02 18:39

      R.I.P cyclists nothing to say to those pigs

  • Darryl Goldberg - 2012-01-02 18:36

    @ Swart Piet: I see you are quick to throw bad comments at the Police, why don't you comment on the cyclists who cycle where they should be like one the highwa(R59), I suppose if it had happened there, the cyclists also wouldn't be in the wrong.

      Steenbra - 2012-01-02 19:41

      My understanding is a highway is marked with a M and a minor road with a R. Maybe I'm wrong.

      Chille - 2012-01-02 19:53

      @steenbra, The R59 is the HIGHWAY that connect JHB (Alberton) with the Vaal Triangle (Meyerton, Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark)

      AyGeeWils - 2012-01-02 20:48

      This is a tragic loss of life and probably two fathers with families. Sad truth is - it is not safe to cycle on SA roads. You take your life in your hands - we are not a courteous society anymore and cyclists are sometimes quite naive to imagine that this is Europe were they have right of way. Driving on our roads is scary enough!

  • Barefoot - 2012-01-02 18:42

    Swart Piet- accidents happen it's not like he was aiming for them

      Bert - 2012-01-03 10:48


  • Arthur - 2012-01-02 18:43

    I am a firm belief in "Justice must prevail" unfortunately only one side of this story will surface.

  • roger.pacey - 2012-01-02 18:51

    With reference to the recent story about the fatal accident involving the Run X doing a U-turn, presumably the driver has been charged with culpable homicide

  • Power - 2012-01-02 18:52

    I agree that NEWS24 should get it's reporting up to standard - this type of reporting with no facts only stir feelings. On the other hand - maybe they withheld info on purpose (by order of the minister so the investigation will result in nothing ??)

  • Steyn - 2012-01-02 18:55

    Something fundamental is wrong here...this is SO tragic and unnecessary! We call upon yet an other thorough investigation!

      Power - 2012-01-02 19:04

      The problem is - who will conduct the thorough investigation: the driver of the van or his friend ????

  • Herbert - 2012-01-02 18:56

    You cannot compare accidents on face value, but I do wonder whether these cops will be charged with murder, that is if the case ever gets to court !!!

      Heinrich - 2012-01-02 20:21

      Betweenyouandme : Technically you are correct. There was, however, a precedent set when a driver was found guilty of murder on the basis of a principle called something like "dolus eventualis". This means that, if a driver is aware that his/her actions/inactions can lead to death and he/she carries on regardless, then he/she can be charged with attempted murder. If someone is then actually killed under those circumstances, it then becomes murder and not manslaughter. Therefore, if we get a bit drowsy behind the steering wheel and continue driving anyway, we can be charged with attempted murder.

  • stevefortuin - 2012-01-02 18:58

    I would love to know the full details of this story, but I have this sneaky suspicion that the SAP will find some way to cover up all of those details from the Media... Thus the public & families involved will never really know the truth :(

      Power - 2012-01-02 19:07

      In terms of the new proposed law of the goverment it might be regarded as classified information !!!!

  • Thandi - 2012-01-02 19:14

    Why am I not surprised to hear of yet another incident involving our imbecilic police. Its not fair to judge without knowing all the facts, but I have reached the stage where my confidence level in our 'waste-of-space-police' has reched rock-bottom.

  • Azande - 2012-01-02 19:14

    Sad story. RIP.

  • Irene - 2012-01-02 19:29

    Most of the police 'force' can't read or write so it comes as no surprise that they can't drive either. RIP.

      Juan - 2012-01-02 19:42

      Like most of SA's state institutions the police force has gone down the toilet. You now need the Hawks to do the jobs of ordinary policemen; which make me wonder, what the hell does the police do? Crime?

  • Louis - 2012-01-02 19:40

    Strange no mention is made that the cops was on the way to a scene or somerthing ,that says to me this was negligance.

  • rcoetzee - 2012-01-02 19:48

    ok guys, let me put it this way: 1. no comment from police indicating that the cyclist swerved. 2. you dont just swerve a tandem. 3. the van, if the cyclist swerved, should in all likelyness have ended up on the other side of the road. 4. clear daylight and perfect visibilty. from the above, it is quite clear that it went wrong, and i want to blame the policemen. but I will flrefrain for now, but fact is, there is nothing stating the van was on the way to a crime scene. police drive like maniacs, no ligts and sirens, and quite frankly, they are way too often found lacking some skills that is essential. does the driver have pdp, advanced driving or some training before dring a police car. I am horrified and sickened by this incident. RIP guys and may your families get peace.

  • Burtfred - 2012-01-02 19:58

    You have to be nuts to ride a bicyle on our taxi and blue-light infested roads.

      Sean - 2012-01-02 22:07

      As a cyclist myself I agree with you , but the f... up is , where must we cycle ???

  • Shamiel - 2012-01-02 19:59

    As a cyclist preparing for this years Argus with my son doing his 1st Argus, I am aware and have seen great irresponsibility of a number of cyclist especially on Marine Drive passing the Table Bay Harbour entrance in Paarden Eiland, however on the Conteman's Kloof route where we cycling we encounter truck drivers going out of their way to close in on the cyclist instead of giving some distance when passing as there is no oncoming traffic. We love cycling and drivers must accustom themselves that we are on the road for I too drive with a car and adhere to the rule of the road both in car and on bicycle...For a police van to take out two cyclist is incomprehensible...Lets keep it safe out there guys!!!

      AyGeeWils - 2012-01-02 21:00

      While I support your right to cycle and enjoy it - I don't see how you imagine that truck drivers, or any drivers, in this country are going to start being courteous to cyclists. What you are doing is very dangerous and to fool yourself that it is not is half the reason why so many cyclists are killed here on our manic roads. The dream of three abreast on a country lane is never going to be a reality in SA.

  • Lo - 2012-01-02 20:30

    Has all the markings of a racially motivated killing.

      Betweenuandme - 2012-01-02 21:00

      Really? Please enlighten us ...

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-02 23:20

      Brain dead

  • John - 2012-01-02 20:31

    Ja ja ja. Keep investigating as long as you (The SAP) like. Nothing will come of it, like all the MANY MANY other accidents caused by police and blue light vehicles.

  • kosmonooit - 2012-01-02 20:41

    A relative of the deceased just posted on said web site to say that a car past them at high speed, the 'wind' drew them into the road and into the path of the cop van, which is plausible given the Bernoulli Effect. Here the roads are dangerous for cyclists, in fact everyone. We are just more vulnerable for obvious reasons. Can't tell you how many near-death experiences I have had on the road, that's about once a day, no thanks to idiot drivers of all races, creeds and gender. IMO 99% of motorists shouldn't not be on the road in control of a motor vehicle! How come any mofo can get a drivers license with no real skills or attitude test? this should be controlled like Firearm Licenses, please tell the difference between a motorist and a mofo with a gun in term so the power to kill ... ? Anyway RIP to the cyclists and condolences to all the families and friends.

  • Mark - 2012-01-02 20:46

    I am a cyclist and the chairman of the Kliprivier Community Police Forum in which jurisdiction this tragic accident occurred. It is in the latter capacity that I attended on the accident scene this morning and it is in this capacity that I wish to make the following comments on this matter: 1. The accident will be investigated as a matter of course. When I left the scene the investigation team were already on site collecting all relevant data; 2. The driver of the police vehicle will be charged with culpable homicide and will be investigated just like any other citizen who finds themselves in this predicament; 3. Unfortunately there were no independent eye witnesses to this incident so the accident report and autopsies will have to tell the final story and will ultimately verify or rebut the driver’s own version of the accident; 4. There can be no cover up of this matter by the police as the families involved will want a report on the matter in due course for their own purposes. The Community Police Forum will also require a report on the outcome of the investigation and will monitor this until the matter is finalised; 5. It is too early to be categorising this incident as a ‘blue light’ incidence; 6. Police officers may only drive a state vehicle if they are in possession of a driver’s licence.

      SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-01-02 21:44


      George - 2012-01-02 21:50

      Mark with all due respect you say in your blog that there are no independant witnesses in this matter. When does a witness become independant? i have read earlier in the blog that they have posted that a golf passed the cyclists with a high speed. is this a dependant witness that made this statement? How on earth can this happen because somebody saw the accident. I also see that this man/woman will be charged with cuplpable homocide. I guess the next thing will be that he/she is suspended with full benefits and upon conviction take it on appeal and when judgement comes he/she becomes critically ill. Wow the days has changed since I left the police force. In those days they were arrested like all the other criminals , whether guilty or not , they were tried before a court and they were suspended without benefits. Those days you could not place the name of the SAP in disripute. i went on to study critical care ( Paramedic ) and i am not even employed as one today. Both the forces have changed dramatically and i just wish that we will still regain the forces we had. These are the two most important goverment departments but they have lost all their values.

  • jason.fivaz - 2012-01-02 20:47

    This is bullsh**t, how can the police van not have seen them??? I have ridden that part of the raod many times. They must have been speeding, or driving like idiots! Were they tested for alcohol???

  • Koos - 2012-01-02 21:05

    Sorry for you Jonathon, A cyclist has the right of the road and nobody can take this away from him or her,it does not matter!!! when a motorist sees a cyclist he must show and head respect and give right of way to the cyclist under all circumstances and their is no excuse, cars ,trucks taxi`s and the police has the right to KILL a cyclist and under no circumstances and there is no excuse for this, my condolences go out to the famlies and friends

  • Marius - 2012-01-02 21:09

    This is sad I knew the male personally he was a good friend and will be dearly missed RIP my Buddy

  • Koos - 2012-01-02 21:24

    Please guys go to suikerbosrand nature reserve and do your training there it is much safer there is no traffic and no idiots,incidents like this effects the whole cycling faternity and we do not need it ,best stay off the roads and cycle where it is safe

  • Herbert - 2012-01-02 22:41

    Mark, exactly my concern; "culpable homicide" you say? Disregard the fact of a car speeding past the cyclists which caused them to swerve. If you are an observant driver as police are "trained" to be, you respect following distances and speed, you slow down when you see animals, pedestrians, cyclists within the driving danger zone. So, I hope the prosecutor is brave enough to make the charge "murder".

  • Lance - 2012-01-02 22:48

    Cops took me off my motorbike as well. I cycle the Lido route, better change it :-(

  • Trevor - 2012-01-02 22:59

    Hell, the day the cops start to kill the citizens......intentional or not...then you must start to worry, hope they find the cause to this and make it known, no coverups.

  • NickvanderLeek - 2012-01-03 00:31

    it's simple - if a person or animal is on the road and you are driving, you swerve to avoid it. how hard is it to make space for someone on a bicycle.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-03 06:24

      You never swerve for an animal. That's bad advise and could get you killed. For a bike, yes.

  • Martin - 2012-01-03 06:23


  • Shannon Victor - 2012-01-03 07:13

    These were 2 of my close friends, and cycling partners... May they RIP! We are extremely hurt by this incident, and still in shock!! This is such a common cycling route, how can ANY idiot not be on the lookout? I hope that justice will prevail, as T and H were the least deserving to go!! Please guys, as difficult as is it, we'll have to revert to The Reserve.

  • Beetroot - 2012-01-03 07:32

    RIP and may god be with your family! There are too many judgments made and unsavoury remarks that disrespect the two innocent lives lost due to whatever the reason. It is a known fact that the police force are inadequately trained and marshalled to maintain standards. Annual quota's are rammed through training to fullfill the ranks. Speed will always kill irrespective of what you are travelling in. Common sense may not always save you when there is a ton of abuse racing wildly in the name of society's 'To protect and serve'. Unfortunately this will just seep into the sand of history and nothing and no one will be held accountable.

  • comurray - 2012-01-03 07:50

    I'm inclined to agree with Jonathon. I travel from Heidelberg to Meyerton where there are numerous cyclists in groups of 10 to 15 training, their attitude towards motorists has a lot to be desired. It is a wonder so few are injured or killed.

  • Roslyn - 2012-01-03 07:52

    Were these Police from Douglasdale Police Station?

  • Zion - 2012-01-03 08:33

    I went on a two-day defensive driving course. It was an eye-opener as to what can go wrong on the road. I am sure the cops of this country could do the same. Have seen these guys in blue speaking on a telephone, Laughing and joking with their tjommies while driving at high speed and driving at high speed when the occasion does not warrant it. All said and done; will they ever come right?

  • Tony - 2012-01-03 08:49

    R.I.P. Too terrible for words. I often used to cycle on this road. My deepest sympathies to the victims families.

  • Dominic - 2012-01-03 09:28

    I would love to know if the cops that hit the cyclists were taken for a drug and alcohol test, I am willing to place money on the fact that they were trashed.

  • John - 2012-01-03 09:32

    Where is Cycling SA? They are supposed to be the voice of cycling in SA but they take our money and do bugger all for recreational cycling. In the UK cycling has a BIG voice!

  • Reon - 2012-01-03 10:16

    @Willie, if we have lanes for cyclist,the taxis will end up using it or another driver "thats in a hurry" will try and drive you into the cyclist lane like they do with you on the yellow lane.

  • Frank - 2012-01-03 10:43

    Just insane..........this must be investigated

  • Janice - 2012-01-03 10:50

    The road doesnt look very wide to me.

  • Sizwe - 2012-01-03 10:55

    Since when are we charging road accidents with Culpable Homicide? The NPA says its murder in our days, or is that special treatment....

  • ruda.sealie - 2012-01-03 11:19

    Cop vans generally drive like MOEGOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Erna - 2012-01-03 11:56

    What is going to happen to the Cop that drove the van. We were at the sene and the Cop was gone so who say he might have been drunk. He hit the tandem from behind on a strait road. How is this possiple. I hope that justise will be done.

      George - 2012-01-03 21:11

      I always thought that the cop van was a instrument in the crime. Now as usual all the evidence are tampered with and no conviction can be made. This is a claim worthy to go to the independant complaints directorate.

  • Ally - 2012-01-03 14:32

    It wasn't the cop van that killed them. It was the DRIVER of the cop van who killed them!!!

  • Rosemarie - 2012-01-04 19:00

    RIP Attie, your family will miss you dearly. Rose

  • fred.hawley - 2012-01-04 19:58

    DISGUSTING....The product of affirmative action I Bet!!!!!