Durban - Brian S’phiwe Kheswa was training to be policeman in oThongathi when he died in a accident after his car became stuck in a pothole.
The 25-year-old student constable, based at the oTongathi police station, was crushed to death when his vehicle rolled over him.
According to a colleague, who did not want to be named, Kheswa was on his way home to Verulam, when he drove into a pothole in Spring Road.
He said Kheswa managed to dislodge the car from the pothole by pushing it out.
“Unfortunately, the car was on a downhill and started rolling. He ran to the front to try and stop it. But, he slipped and the car rolled over him.”
Provincial police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said Kheswa was trapped under the car and died at the scene.
The incident happened late last week.
A memorial service for Kheswa will take place in oTongathi on Thursday.
Kheswa’s mother, Sibongile, said she was still in shock.
“It is still unbelievable how it all happened.
“He was just trying to get the car out,” she said.
She said Kheswa was due to finish his two-year police training in November.
“All my hopes were on him since his father passed away. He was such a good child.”
She called on authorities to fix the pothole as soon as possible. It is on a route she passes through daily and said the unfixed pothole was a constant reminder about what happened to her son.
Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said it appeared that Kheswa had been pushing his vehicle when he slipped and landed under its wheels.
eThekwini Speaker Logie Naidoo was not aware of the incident, but said he would investigate.
“It is really a tragedy that someone had to lose his life in this manner,” he said. “We will have to look at this road where the incident happened and take it from there.”
Naidoo said the city was aware of the pothole issues and was trying to address them.
“We have a rapid response team that focuses on filling and repairing potholes because we know how dangerous they can be,” he said.
Naidoo called on councillors and residents to report potholes in their areas so that they can be fixed.
But fixing potholes on gravel roads was not as straightforward as for tarred roads, according to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport.
“For repairs on a gravel road, it means that the entire road will have to be re-levelled, said department spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane.
“Our teams do check on the conditions of roads regularly, but it would also help if members of the public reported roads that were not in good condition so they can be attended to quickly.”
Ncalane said that the department would liaise with the city so that the road on which the accident happened - a municipal road - could be assessed and repaired.
“However, it is also the responsibility of councillors to ensure that their wards don’t have roads that are not maintained. They (councillors) should be reporting regularly to the department and the municipality,” he said.
DA councillor Heinz de Boer also urged motorists to report potholes as soon as they came across any.