Bikers, cyclist in road rage attack
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Pretoria - In a shocking case of road rage, two motorcyclists allegedly assaulted a cyclist moments after one of them had knocked him down outside Wapadrand, east of the city.
Siphiwe Khumalo, the cyclist, was allegedly kicked and punched while lying on the gravel verge of Lynnwood Road by a pair of motorcyclists on Friday.
Khumalo said he was riding his bicycle in the direction of Solomon Mahlangu Drive at 4.30pm when two men on motorbikes approached him riding in the opposite direction.
“The first guy almost knocked me over but we were both able to keep out of each others’ way, but I did not see the second guy who knocked me over,” Khumalo said.
A florist at Servest Office Plants, he said that while he was disoriented and lying on the ground the bikers assaulted and swore at him.
“The one who knocked me over said I was riding my bicycle like s***. The other one started kicking me. Both continued punching, kicking, and swearing at me while people drove past looking at us.”
Some motorists stopped to prevent the assault. Victor Cloete came to Khumalo’s aid. He said the attack went on non-stop before he and other drivers stopped to help.
“I provided basic medical assistance to Siphiwe. We couldn’t drive by while he was being attacked like that,” Cloete said. “When we got out of the car the two boys sped off.”
Cloete said Khumalo appeared to have bruised ribs. It also seemed as though his leg was fractured, either from the attack or the collision.
“We called an ambulance which took over an hour to get there, but eventually a team from Netcare 911 came and stabilised him,” he said.
Khumalo was taken to Mamelodi Hospital where he was treated. He was discharged on Sunday
“The doctors said I need to come back for X-rays,” he said.”
Cloete was concerned at the behaviour of police. “We called the Garsfontein police who came to the scene after 45 minutes, but said they could not help because the incident was out of their precinct.”
Another witness who called the Pretoria News shortly after the attack said she was disgusted by the ruthless assault.
Elinor Sisulu said she was driving with her husband Max when a biker came from behind and one of them knocked over Siphiwe. “He swore at him (Khumalo) before assaulting him.”
Sisulu echoed Cloete’s concern about the police’s reaction time and reluctance to help.
“Police took about 45 minutes to arrive while the ambulance took over an hour,” she said.
Police spokeswoman Captain Pinky Tsinyane said Khumalo had not opened a case of assault, so it would be difficult to act.
The scene should have been handled by the metro police because it was an accident scene with no loss of life. “He will need to open a case of assault when he is feeling better because then we can act,” she said.
Police spokeswoman for the cluster in which Garsfontein falls, Captain Colette Weilbach, said the station would be investigating the allegations.
Khumalo said he would be laying charges against his attackers, but said it would be difficult to get justice because he did not know them.
Khumalo said he used the bicycle to ride from his home in Lusaka, Mamelodi East, to his workplace in Lynnwood Road. “I started working two months ago. I don’t earn enough to use a taxi,” he said.
Cloete said he and other witnesses had exchanged numbers and would try to get Khumalo another bicycle and donate whatever they could to help him while he was unable to go to work.
* Road traffic authorities must ensure all road users have proper driving training, says Bevan Collins of BikeSure – an insurance company, following the death of four motorcyclists at the weekend.
A biker died in Joburg on Friday in a crash in Midrand after his bike rear-ended a motor vehicle on the N1. The bike apparently fell on top of the rider and burst into flames.
In another incident, a man died in Sandton when his motorbike collided with a taxi on Bryanston Drive on Friday night.
In Durban, two bikers were killed in an accident on the Winklespruit on-ramp on the N2 in Durban on Saturday. They were hit by a bakkie. - Additional reporting by Baldwin Ndaba