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Cyclist shot dead after altercation

Picture: Neil Baynes

Picture: Neil Baynes

Published Nov 12, 2010

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Police are searching for a motorist who gunned down a cyclist in an apparent road rage incident on the N2 near the Msimbazi Bridge in Umgababa on the South Coast.

The father of three, Lionel Pautrel, formerly of France, was killed following an altercation with a motorist.

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Police said Pautrel, 33, of Winklespruit, was shot and killed by an unknown man travelling in a car on Saturday, October 30.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said Pautrel had been cycling at 4.30pm when he was shot in the back. Police believe that there might have been an altercation between Pautrel and the motorist.

“Three shots were heard and a motor vehicle was seen speeding off towards Amanzimtoti. The man died on the scene.”

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Pautrel was an engineer who worked for a company in France.

His wife, Makhosi Pautrel, said they had decided to move to South Africa because he had fallen in love with the country.

She said her husband had moved to the country in 2005 and they decided to build a home in KwaZulu-Natal.

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“We did everything together, we were planning so much for the future… and now I am left with the children and, at same time, I have to grieve and arrange for his body to be flown to France. All this is just too much for me.”

She said because her children would not be able to go to France to bury their father, she had arranged a memorial service for them last Friday.

Pautrel said her husband had been an active sportsman and held a black belt in judo.

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“I am so sad that my children are not able to go with me because of finances and delays in obtaining the necessary travel documents.

“But I arranged for a memorial service with friends and family so that we can say our goodbyes to him,” she said.

She has appealed for anyone who might have witnessed her husband’s killing to contact the police.

Zwane said the police were asking for anyone who saw the incident to contact Captain Mark West at telephone 082 334 9856 or 039 973 1711. - The Mercury

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