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Two cyclists on a tandem bicycle were killed when a police van ploughed into them while they were riding on the R550 in Eikenhof, south of Joburg, yesterday. The two police officers in the vehicle escaped uninjured.
Police spokesman Tshisikhawe Ndou said the officers were travelling from the Kliprivier police station when the accident happened at about 9.45am.
“We are investigating a case of culpable homicide but no arrests have been made as yet,” said Ndou, adding that the officers were being treated for shock.
Ndou said the cyclists had not been identified, but Alberton cyclist Gerald (aged 38) tweeted “RIP Theresa and Hendry!!”
Helivac emergency response owner Jean-Pierre van Tonder was on the scene of the accident, and said that “from the position of the bikes and bodies, the police van appeared to be travelling in the same direction as the bicycle”.
“This is absolute negligence. It’s not a road where cyclists could be hiding behind bends or not visible,” said Van Tonder, adding that the two were dressed in bright red and blue cycling kits.
“How this vehicle didn’t see the cyclists I have no idea. It’s a long, straight stretch of road. You can see in front and behind of you for 3km. The police van mowed into the grass for some distance before stopping. It was definitely travelling at quite a speed,” he said.
Meanwhile, roads to Gauteng are experiencing extremely heavy traffic as holidaymakers return home, the Road Traffic Management Corporation said yesterday.
More than 1 100 people have died on the roads during the festive season, according to its preliminary statistics.
Thousands of cars an hour were passing through the various tolls on the roads back to Gauteng.
Proudly South African, wrote
Before we pass judgement - let's get all the facts....However, may the deceased rest in peace....My condolences to the families involved.
Enough Already!!, wrote
Police officers think they are above the law! They KNOW they will get away with it! Whilst patrolling the suburbs, they even go through your rubbish on the pavements on refuse day, and take what they want and load it into the back of their police vans! This is in Boksburg! I am frightened of police officials, I do not look up to them for help any longer! What does this say for our country? Not much, I am afraid! My deepest condolenses to the families of those killed in this needless accident!
It was not a traffic police vehicle involved. There are pictures on the cycling forum thehubsa.co.za and it shows the vehicle as a Police bakkie. It can be seen where it has gone off into the veld after the accident.
Motsamai Rantho, wrote
So, just because they are police officers, they are being treated for trauma. And if it were an ordinary member of the public, heshe would be in jail. Sies! It's really discusting.
Where does it say these were traffic police?
Culpable homicide? Why not murder? It seems the trend is that if the accident was avoidable, they should be charged with murder. It would seem in thi case that this was avoidable.
Was there alcohol involved here? Did the police have valid drivers' licences? Were they speeding? How can you not see a tandem? This is so tragic and it happens far too often.
RIP to the unfortunate cyclists. May God watch over their families and friends who have lost beloved ones. Unlike many here, I will not judge until I know the whole story of what happened.
Two questions to commissioner Mzwandile Petros. Why are the officers not in court this morning on murder charges? How can we respect you and your officers when you apply such double standards?
It sounds like another case of negligence and speeding by traffic police who have scant regard for the rules they are meant to uphold! They should be held for culpable homicide, negligent driving and I would have immediately had their bloodalcohol levels tested! It's a disgrace how anyone with a badge thinks he is above the law! Sadly, it's not only the families of the victims who will suffer, but also the families of the "murderers". My condolences to the victims families. I would definitely sue the department and the traffic officers in their personal capacities too.
This is what happens when government officials go unpunished for killing cyclists....even police offices now are doing the same thing. Innocent people are being killed!! How can the govenrment and police sit back and not take firm action?? It is reported that "The two police officers in the vehicle escaped uninjured" that is because if you look at the parties involved - it is unfair and cannot be compared. Guess what will happen if a truck hits a pedestrian-the truck driver will escape uninjured. The cyclists had could do nothing as these guys were behind them. Please test the drivers eyesight - and if it is good them judge him for homicide. Why are there no arrests?
Very very sad. And also disgraceful. Police should be there to protect lives and should at all times be taking absolute care, prudence, in their duties. I presume that they'll be up for murder as per the new ruling?
Tragic, my sympathy to the family. cycles please, vehicle vs cycle cycle always comes second, bike? think!!!
Why no arrests .............clearly the cops are at fault, arrest them
It will be interesting to see if the driver was licensed and trained. We have seen a few incidents of police training their colleagues in public places during lunch breaks. One was on a motorbike at the North Beach carpark can you believe? Of course, the learner didn't have a clue, so popped an unintended wheelie and smashed into two parked cars; fortunately no-one from the public was injured. I wouldn't be surprised if this cop was an unqualified driver or a very new driver. That would explain the accident despite clear visible conditions.
Why are police investigating a case of culpable homicide? Is it because they are fellow police officers? Why are they not being charged with murder like other motorists? Why is the Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele not demanding that these police officers be charged with murder, as he previously promised for all cases of road accidents where deaths occur? Just another ‘Animal Farm’ scenario?
Wonder if the police driving had their license. And people wonder why the useless police have no respect.
Names and pictures of the deceased here : http:www.thehubsa.co.zaforumtopic111384-rip-2-cyclists-killedpage__hl__accident__st__32
So very sad to hear, and may they rest in peace. I am a cyclist myself,and use this road often. I know a lot of the times cyclists are their own worst enemy, but even in this instance this is unnacceptable. I hope something will be down with regard to this, and not just swept under the rug by the authorities. Obviously there are two sides to every story, and before everyone on here goes and slams cyclists, please remember and consider that we are talking about people who have lost their lives, leaving grieving families. Lets be sensitive with regards to the comments please.
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