Parlour lends a helping hand

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Sikhona Gwala, the Mthwalume student who was run over during a high speed chase involving the police and suspected robbers two weeks ago, was buried at the weekend thanks to the kindness of a local funeral parlour.

For the Gwala family his death is a huge blow, though, and they want someone to account for it.

"He was the first one in our family to go to university. He was to live the dreams of the rest of us," said his sister Ntombi, adding that everyone contributed to his fees.

"My younger brother Slie used money he raised at a small school tuck shop to send Sikhona to university.

"When he completed his diploma he made us proud. We had hoped that he would one day help the family out of poverty."

Gwala, 26, and three other pedestrians were hit by a police vehicle in the Pinetown industrial area west of Durban.

He had just completed his in-service training at a business in Pinetown after graduating with a retail business management diploma at the Durban University of Technology.

The four of them were crossing a street in Pinetown when they were struck by the vehicle. Gwala died instantly.

Eyewitnesses said police on patrol spotted a suspicious car with five men in it and ordered them to stop but they refused.

The police gave chase and allegedly lost control of the vehicle, veering off the road and knocking down the four.

Police spokesman Inspector Solomon Mbhele said they were saddened by the accident.

"The police gave chase but lost control on Richmond Road because of poor weather conditions," Mbhele said.

"One person died on the scene and others were rushed to hospital, including two officers.

"We are investigating a culpable homicide and reckless and or negligent driving case."