Cape Town - A Philippi police officer who knocked down a two-year-old boy after he had tried to avoid hitting other children playing on a Mitchells Plain road now faces culpable homicide charges.
David George was knocked down on Wednesday evening as the officer drove over a speed hump on Sentinel Road, Tafelsig. The boy had followed his older sister home after she had been playing in the road.
The accident took place opposite Yellow Wood Primary School grounds about five metres away from his home.
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said the 30-year-old constable will be formally charged on Friday.
“It is alleged the two-year-old boy crossed the street and was knocked down by a man driving a blue VW Polo Classic. The two-year-old died on the scene,” Van Wyk said.
A distraught father, also named David George, said on Thursday David was playing at the front door before he ran into the road.
“We were in the house doing normal chores. I don’t know when he went over the road but at about 6.10pm I heard a commotion outside the house. I went outside and saw that Junior was lying in the road,” George said.
“He was a very active and playful child. You would always find him playing in the yard or with sister Chelsea. She especially is very sad,” he said. The boy’s mother, Christine, was too traumatised to speak.
Yellow Wood Primary School assistant caretaker Mogamat Abrahams, who was waiting for a bus to go home, saw the accident.
“The car came down the road at an average speed. Junior’s older sister Chelsea was playing on the pavement next to the school grounds. She (Chelsea) went over the road to go home, the car then slowed down just before he reached the speed hump.
“As the car went over the hump Junior then also decided to run over the road following his sister. The headlights on the right side struck Junior’s head. He went over the speed hump and slowly picked up speed. The driver could not see Junior because he is very small,” Abrahams said.
“He knocked Junior down driving over his leg. He immediately braked after he realised what had happened,” he said.
“I don’t blame the driver for the child’s death. There was no way he could have seen Junior, he was very small, and the driver had to focus on the other kids who were in the road. That man was in shock, he looked liked he was going to burst into tears,” he said.
Abrahams questioned why a two-year-old was out on the street.
A resident of Tafelsig and neighbour of the George family, Gabriel Blake, 62, said although speed humps have been built in the road children are still at risk of being knocked down.