Cape Town - Gerald and Levona Beukes were to have celebrated their granddaughter Kiara’s second birthday on Wednesday.
Instead they went to the mortuary to identify the body of their son, little Kiara’s dad.
Gershwin Beukes, 22, from Strandfontein, is alleged to have been shot by police while attending an illegal drag race gathering in Lentegeur.
He died on Morgenster Road, opposite the Liberty Promenade Mall.
Police have not commented, but Moses Dlamini, national spokesman for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, confirmed they were investigating.
At about 2am on Wednesday, Beukes’s parents received a call from a friend of his to tell them the news. Hours later,
after they had returned from the mortuary, Levona Beukes sat in Gershwin’s room and recalled what had happened.
“At 2 am one of his friends who always races with him on their bikes called and said that my son was in a serious accident.
“I asked him whether he was being serious and he said: ‘Gershwin is serious.’
“As we made our way there we thought he was still alive and in a critical condition, but when we got there we found his bike lying on its side and my son’s body lying next to it.”
Gerald Beukes said the scene did not make sense.
“We thought that he had been in an accident but we didn’t see any ambulances. His friends said the ambulance had already left. There were approximately 10 police vehicles and the scene had been cordoned off. I saw my son’s bike lying on its side in the street, and his body, which had been covered.”
One of the last people to speak to Gershwin was his friend of eight years, Wazeer Cottle. Cottle said Gershwin was a “serious Opel fanatic” and one of his favourite Opel drivers was racing on Tuesday night.
Cottle said he and his cousin had bumped into Gershwin on their way to the garage in Eisleben Road.
“He came running over and he told us about the Opel that was about to race. I’ve never seen him that extremely happy to see a race.”
Cottle said the two drivers launched their race. Then he noticed a police van driving in the opposite direction try to make a U-turn over the island in the road close to where Gershwin was standing on his bike with his helmet under his arm.
“The police van stopped in front of Gershwin. I couldn’t hear what was being said but Gershwin started his bike and drove away normally towards Spine Road. The police van went in the same direction and that was the last I saw him.”
Cottle, who was visiting the Beukes’s house on Wednesday, said: “To think on this day two years ago, I picked him up here at home and took him to see his daughter in hospital.”
A tearful Levona Beukes said the family had planned to celebrate little Kiara Andrews’s birthday with Gershwin on Wednesday.
“I feel so bad. The saddest part is that he didn’t say goodbye last night before he left like he usually did. How can somebody just take my son’s life like that? We were going to go to the Blue Route Mall today and take my granddaughter out for her birthday.”