The affordable education loan option
Cape Town - A man killed while detained in a police van which caught alight in an accident had earlier been arrested in a road-rage incident and had allegedly been assaulted by two men while his nine-year-old son watched.
Takalani Nethavhakone, 40, Sergeant Jeremy Hoop and Constable Monique Portland were killed when the police van collided head on with a bakery truck on Sunday.
Nethavhakone’s widow, Noluthando Nethavhakone, who remains in the dark about the details of his death, said she would be demanding answers from the police.
She told the Cape Times on Monday her husband had been driving in Highbury, Kuils River with their nine-year-old son on Saturday evening when they came across a car blocking the road and bumped into it.
She said her son had told her that her husband had not stopped because he feared the men were trying to rob them and it was late at night.
The men followed him and pulled him out of his car.
Noluthando said the two then assaulted her husband before the police intervened and Nethavhakone was put in the back of the police van.
“They drove off saying they were going to the Kuils River police station and I could bail him out the next day,” Noluthando said.
But at around at 5am on Sunday, she received news that her husband had been killed in a collision between the police van and a bakery truck on Old Faure Road near Mfuleni on Sunday morning. The vehicle caught alight and the three were trapped in the wreckage.
“They (the police) didn’t even tell me that he had burnt in the police van; they just said he had passed (away). He was helpless in the back of that van.”
She wanted to know what the police van had been doing hours later on Old Faure Road, some distance away, when the police station was a few minutes from their home.
Nethavhakone, 40, served in the SA Navy for more than 10 years before he joined the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council, where he worked as a designated agent, his wife said.
He had been married to Noluthando for 10 years and they have two boys.
Police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana would not provide further details about the accident or why the police officers had been driving on Old Faure Road hours after Nethavhakone had been arrested. He said: “The investigation is still at a sensitive stage… it is premature to discuss the details of the case…”