Much-loved Sowetan dog ranger hit by car: 'He was dragged for 100m or so and left him there'

2019-06-19 16:08
Ben Nyakundela. (Photo: Facebook/Soweto Animal Rescue & Advisory Centre)

Ben Nyakundela. (Photo: Facebook/Soweto Animal Rescue & Advisory Centre)

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He's a dedicated ranger and loves animals.

So, it came as no surprise when many people poured out their heartfelt well wishes when they heard that Ben Nyakundela had been hit by a car.

The 21-year-old, who's a ranger at Soweto Animal and Rescue & Advisory Centre (Sarac), is recovering at Leratong Hospital after the horrific accident on Thursday June 13 in Westonaria on the West Rand.

According to the centre's chairperson, Jerry Selwane, Ben was riding his bicycle from the local shop around 19:00 when a car skipped a stop sign and drove into him.

"He then dragged him for 100m or so and left him there," Jerry explains. 

The young man, who lives at the centre with his wife of three months, had gone to buy something to cook for supper. Jerry says Ben's wife is traumatised.

Ben broke his right leg and is due to undergo surgery next week.

"I was concerned about his head injuries but they're not as serious as the ones on the leg," Jerry said.

Sarac's mission is to improve the living conditions of animals in Soweto and its surrounds by educating and changing people's attitudes towards animals.

The centre has education classes for children, making them aware of cruelty to those without a voice.

And the chairperson has a programme called Jerry's Rangers, which Ben is part of, where he trains youngsters to be the centre's eyes and ears and to report any animal cruelty.

The centre also provides community assistance with sterilisation, dipping, deworming and medical care, and with rescuing animals in need, taking care of them and finding them suitable homes.

Ben's role involves cleaning the kennels, walking and interacting with the dogs, identifying and recording those that need medical treatment and ensuring they’re sterilised.

"He's so loyal and loves animals. That's why when I saw him lying there helplessly my heart was sore," Jerry recalls.

People from the community had rushed to the centre to tell Jerry that Ben had been injured.

The ranger has been getting love on social media and people are raising funds to support him and his wife as he won’t be working for a while.

If you'd like to donate, go to: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/support-for-ben.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accidents
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