Speeding taxi claims three lives in Joe Slovo

Athina May

Three friends who were walking down Freedom Way in Joe Slovo died on impact when a taxi rammed into them, on Sunday April 10.

According to some reports, witnesses said a Toyota Quantum taxi was speeding and tried to overtake a staff van. The van swerved, and the speeding taxi driver hit the three friends, who were standing on the pavement, and also crashed into a stationary Toyota Venture, which was parked on the side of the road.

The driver abandoned his Quantum and fled on foot while Nondumiso Yakala, 29, and Nwabisa Mbekeni, 27, lay lifeless on the pavement and Mzucumile Mqweqo, 27, was impaled and hanging from the windscreen of the staff van.

Now, according to Milnerton police, it is alleged the two taxis were racing each other on Freedom Road, and a culpable homicide docket has been opened for investigation.

“The charge might be changed to murder during the cause of the investigation. No arrests have been made as yet,” said Milnerton SAPS spokesperson, Warrant Officer Daphne O’Reilly.

ER24 media spokesperson, Chitra Bodasing, said the friends sustained multiple and severe injuries.

“Sadly, there was nothing that could be done for them. The driver of the (staff van) was assessed and found to have sustained minor injuries. He was treated and transported to hospital for further medical care.”

Now the families are left to pick up the pieces after the tragic accident.

Ms Mbekeni’s sister, Zukiswa Ntlozwana, said she had heard a loud bang, which sounded like an accident, and a neighbour came to inform her that her sister and her friends were dead.

“I couldn’t understand it because I was with all of them 10 minutes earlier,” said Ms Ntlozwana, who identified her sister by her shoes.

Ms Ntlozwana also instantly recognised Mr Mqweqo, whose arm was sticking out of the staff van’s windscreen.

Ms Yakala’s sister, Ntombi Yakala said she was struggling to explain to Ms Yakala’s children, that their mother was dead.

“She is leaving behind three children who will grow up without their mother. “Poor Mzu’s (Mr Mqweqo’s) girlfriend is still pregnant and had to be hospitalised because she was not well after she heard he died.

“I hope whoever did this will be locked away, maybe it will finally teach these drivers a lesson, “ said Ms Yakala.

* In Table View, the City’s Ghost Squad and the Integrated Roadblock Unit managed to stop a taxi driver during a roadblock held, on Sunday April 10, who was found to be under the influence of alcohol.

Officers then discovered a young woman passed out on the back seat of the taxi and noticed that she had injuries to her face consistent with assault. The driver was also wearing a bloodied T-shirt.

“The driver later confessed that the woman was a friend of his girlfriend. Investigations are still ongoing, but a case of rape has been opened against the driver,” stated a City press release.