The driver of a 4x4 bakkie allegedly deliberately drove into four young men on Friday night.
Elcardo Crew, 20, died in hospital a few hours after being hit. Nineteen-year-old Eshric Molino, who is still recovering following surgery in the Gariep Mediclinic in Kimberley, said on Thursday that he was walking with three friends when the incident occurred between midnight and 1am on Friday night.
“I was with three friends, Elcardo Crew, Liam Cloete and Convin Jager, and as we walked past a house, someone swore at us from behind a wall. We swore back, but continued walking.”
According to Molino, when they approached the Northern Cape Rural TVET College in Hans Coetzee Road, they saw a white 4x4 bakkie heading towards them at high speed.
“The driver switched on his headlights and blinded us. We scattered as we tried to escape but the bakkie followed us.”
According to Molino the vehicle then hit him. “At that stage, I did not know what had happened to my friends,” he said.
He ended up in a bush following the impact. “I was hurt but managed to get up and looked for my phone, wallet, house keys and cap. As I was about to walk off, a white guy came up to me.
“I told him to do whatever he wanted because I felt totally helpless and I was alone. I told him that I had been hurt and showed him my injuries."
“He then handed me my phone and told me to take a different route home because the other guy would not be as nice as he was.”
According to Molino he only found out that Elcardo was killed after arriving at the hospital.
“I was in hospital and my phone was off. When I switched it on, I saw Convin’s status saying Rest In Peace, Elcardo. I was so shocked.”
Molino, who is a soccer fanatic, had to undergo surgery on his pelvis at Gariep Mediclinic after he was transferred from the Mediclinic hospital in Kuruman.
Watching a soccer match with intense interest from his hospital bed on Thursday, he said he has always had a passion for the game and was awaiting news from Kaizer Chiefs.
“I was selected for trials by Kaizer Chiefs after a match between my local club, Northern Delights, and the Chiefs reserve team in Kathu on June 16 this year. Kaizer Chiefs said they would inform me at the end of this month whether I had made it."
“However, according to the doctor, my recovery will be around three months. I am hopeful that I will get an opportunity in future to be called again by Chiefs,” he said.
Molino’s parents, meanwhile, called on the authorities to deal with those responsible for the ordeal.
“It is horrific to imagine that a group of youngsters can be attacked and even die for no reason,” Molino’s stepfather, Eldridge Benjamin, said.
Benjamin said that he and his wife were already in bed when they heard Molino struggling to open the door.
“We heard movement outside the house, but we were not sure what it was. I looked through the window and saw Eshric sitting by the door. I told him to use his key to open the door, but he replied that I should help him because he had been in an accident."
“When I attended to him I saw that his clothes were covered in blood.”
According to Benjamin the police offered no assistance when they reported the matter.
“The police did absolutely nothing when we went to report the matter. We took Eshric to Mediclinic in Kathu but they said they did not have any J88 forms. We then had to rush him to the Mediclinic hospital in Kuruman and he was referred to Gariep Mediclinic in Kimberley."
“He had to undergo an operation on Wednesday night and now has plates and screws in his pelvis.”
Benjamin said that despite the incident being reported to the police, Elcardo was still lying at the accident scene several hours later.
“I went back to the scene of the accident to look for the house keys and Eshric’s belongings. When I arrived I was shocked to see that Elcardo was still lying there."
“He was groaning in pain. I was too afraid to move or pick him up because he was injured. I covered him with a blanket and rushed back to the police station. Elcardo was still alive when I returned with the police."
“I stayed with Elcardo but he died in hospital.”
Benjamin said that the law had failed the youngsters. “I am sure Elcardo would have survived if the police had acted swiftly. No one at the Kathu police station was interested in following up the matter when we reported it.
“The accused was only arrested at about 10pm on Saturday night.”
Elcardo’s father said that he was getting ready for work at around 5am on Saturday morning when he was informed about the accident.
“I arrived at the scene at the same time as the police and the ambulance. Elcardo was still alive and he was transported to hospital. Within an hour of his arrival at the hospital, he died.”
Police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock, on Thursday confirmed that the Kathu police were investigating a case of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
“On October 14, at about midnight, an alleged altercation broke out between the male suspect, 38, and a group of four men (between the ages of 18 and 21 years). It is further alleged that the suspect got into his bakkie and drove into the group of men.
“Two of the men were seriously injured and were taken to hospital. Another two victims suffered minor injuries. One of the victims, a 20-year-old man, later died in hospital."
“The 38-year-old suspect was arrested and appeared in the Kathu Magistrate’s Court on Monday and the case was remanded to Friday (today) for bail determination. The investigation continues,” said Kock.
The DA in the Province said in a statement that while the exact circumstances of the case were still unclear, it “appeared as though the attack was unprovoked and racially motivated”.
“As the Democratic Alliance, we cannot condone racism or any racist actions of any kind. It is absolutely unacceptable that any person becomes a target because of the colour of his or her skin,” DA provincial chairperson Harold McGluwa said.
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