Two Mitchell’s Plain men who ran into the water at Small Bay to save a drowning man have been honoured as heroes in Table View.
Director of City law enforcement Robbie Roberts presented Nadeem de Roos and Rashaad Roghay with bravery awards at the Table View Ratepayers’ Association (TVRA) meeting on Wednesday April 3.
Held at Church on the Rise in Blouberg Rise, certificates of appreciation, medals and gift bags were handed out to individuals and TVRA members who have made a difference in the community.
Mr De Roos and Mr Roghay pulled the drowning man out of the water on New Year’s Day – swimming at angles to beat the rip current. It was advice Mr De Roos said he had coincidentally read on a beach sign moments earlier.
Mr De Roos and Mr Roghay had performed CPR on the man for 40 minutes until lifeguards showed up and took over. However it was too late for the victim who could not be revived.
“It’s something I’ll remember forever,” said Mr De Roos.
He thanked the TVRA for the recognition, saying it was a lovely gesture, especially coming from a community he was not even a part of.
Mr Roghay said he had been shaken on the day but had later realised he had done all he could. He said he had never expected to be recognised with an award.
“The fact that we were invited to be a part of the ceremony shows the togetherness of the community,” said Mr Roghay.
Mr Roberts thanked the men for their efforts and commitment saying the two had gone beyond the call of duty on that fateful day.
“We lost 15 people to drowning over the festive season. We don’t want to lose anyone to drowning,” he said.
TVRA member Andy Birkenshaw was recognised for his fight against air pollution.
Mr Birkenshaw was instrumental in getting Parliament to pass the National Environment Management Air Quality Act of 2004 which reduced Chevron refinery’s daily air emissions. Vehicle emissions were a huge problem, but that did not stop people from jumping into their cars and driving, said Mr Birkenshaw.
“We’ve got to recognise this is what we are doing on an individual basis. It takes people to stand up and say stop. If I can do it, so can you,” he said.
Blake Pittaway received the Hood Hero award for donating 2025 kg dog food to the animal shelter Fallen Angels.
Mr Pittaway, who is also a volunteer for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), began the non-profit Project18za to help animal rescue organisations with food.
Gayl Basson, from Fallen Angels, said he was one of the community’s brave hearts.
Also at the meeting, an anonymous donation of R80 000 to the TVRA was split between the Table View Neighbourhood Watch and Parklands Neighbourhood Watch.
Felicity Purchase, mayoral committee member for transport, was the guest speaker at the meeting.
She said Table View was fortunate to be the first suburb to get MyCiTi transport and that Wynberg, Claremont and Mitchell’s Plain were among the areas where it would be rolled out next. She also claimed there was a three-day turn-around time for fixing potholes once they had been reported.
TVRA member Yvette Huysamer spoke about the status of the motion to ban big bang fireworks.
Ms Huysamer who works for the NPO Rescue Rehab South Africa submitted a 54-page document that included footage of damage done to humans and animals as well as the toxic fallout of fireworks.
The proposed ban included pyrotechnic displays, flash bangs and crackers. Sparkles and Catherine wheels were not included in the ban, said Ms Huysamer.
The motion was put forward in parliament last year but was unsuccessful because she had not consulted the Hindu community.
It had been a major oversight on her part, admitted Ms Huysamer.
She said she had since been in contact with the president of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha and a second reworked proposal would be tabled in June after the elections said Ms Huysamer. Pastor Brad Espin from Church on the Rise was also honoured with an award for his work in the community. The award was presented by previous Table View station commander Colonel Dirk Vosloo.