Family requires help from the community to help bury their last born son on Saturday morning.
By Fanelo Maseko
Siyabonga Khati had dreams of becoming a police officer one day – to serve and protect his people of Evaton, instead, his family is this week planning his funeral.
The 7-year old died on Sunday afternoon when he was knocked down by a car on Milner Road in Small Farm in Evaton, a few blocks away from his home. According to residents at the scene, the Grade 2 learner from Jabulani Primary School had just left a nearby shop where he bought himself a packet of chips when he was moved down by a passenger vehicle.
The car, a white VW Polo was allegedly speeding to a wedding and belonged to a resident of Sharpeville who was allegedly rushing to a wedding around Small Farm when he hit the boy. Residents at the scene said the car hit Siyabonga whilst standing on the pavement on the side of the road and dragged his little body for more than 20 meters into the middle of the street.
The boy’s father, Oumani Moni (43) said he was sitting outside his shack, a yard near Milner Road stop sign when he heard the alarming screeching sound of a car’s brakes coming from Milner Road. Like everyone else in the neighborhood, he too ran to see what had just happened.
But when he arrived at the scene, he was greeted by the lifeless body of his own son who was already being carried by the driver of the vehicle that hit him to his car. When he asked what happened, residents told him that his son had been hit by the white VW Polo and that the vehicle’s passengers were trying to take the child to the nearest hospital.
Concerned about his son’s life, Oumani said he asked the driver of the car why he decided to lift and carry Siyabonga from the scene instead of calling the police and an ambulance for help. “I didn’t get any answers but when I touched my son, I could see he was not breathing at all. He was unconscious and as a father I was convinced we should quickly rush him to hospital for medical attention,” he said.
Fearing for his son’s life, Oumani said he and his neighbor quickly entered into a car and they all drove to the Levai Mbatha Community Clinic in Evaton, where upon arrival, the child was certified dead.
“Why didn’t he stop at the stop sign? Actually why was he speeding like that inside the neighborhood because there are children here?”
While at the clinic, police arrived and took statements from Oumani, his wife Tlaleng (41) and also from the driver of a car that hit his son. Accompanied by the police, the boy’s parents and the driver of the car then drove back to inspect the scene of the incident in Small Farm.
On arrival at the scene, the bereaved parents showed the police a section of the pavement where they believe their son was hit by the car. Oumani and Tlaleng alleged that the driver was speeding and failed to stop at the stop-sign, and ran over their child, instantly killing him.
“He was an innocent child, standing near the stop-sign but he (the driver) went straight into him and hit and dragged him until he fell into the middle of the road,” explained the sobbing father. “Why didn’t he stop at the stop sign? Actually why was he speeding like that inside the neighborhood because there are children here?” Jabulani’s mother, Tlaleng asked with tears.
Tlaleng strongly questioned as to why did the driver quickly carried their child into his car after the accident instead of calling emergency services for urgent medical attention. “It looks like he was trying to hide the fact that he hit my son on the pavement, which is obviously his fault,” she said.
What pains the family even more is that Evaton police took long to give them a case number for the incident. “We were taken from pillar to post when going back to the police station on Monday as we were told that no case was opened on Sunday,” the father said.
It was upon Loxion News intervention that the family was called to the police station on Tuesday where another statement was taken from the father and a case number finally issued. “My son died a very painful death while still young. I wanted him to be a lawyer or a police officer,” said the tearful mother. “I want justice for my son’s death, so police must do their work.”
Loxion News is in possession of a picture with visible plate numbers of the alleged white VW Polo taken by one of the residents at the scene. Meanwhile, when the Loxion News team visited the family home on Monday morning, angry residents had gathered around the scene of the accident and barricaded Milner and Cement roads with stones and debris in a protest over Siyabonga’s death.
“It is not the first time that such a tragic incident has happened here so we are sick and tired of these speeding cars driving here,” said one woman in the fuming crowd. Residents said they will never allow any car to pass there until Emfuleni Local Municipality has erected speed humps on Milner road to prevent such incidents.
The Councillor for the municipality’s Ward 29, Moeketsi Masooa, who also visited the family home to offer his support and condolences, said he will intervene in the matter so that Siyabonga’s family is assisted in terms of burial needs. “I will also visit the municipality to ask them to erect speed humps on Milner Road because residents have said this is not the first time a child was knocked down by a car on this road,” he said.
Evaton police spokesperson, Captain Aubrey Moopeloa said a case of Culpable Homicide was opened but the driver was not arrested.
Siyabonga’s funeral will be held this coming Saturday of the 9th at his home in Small Farm. The funeral service will start at Siyabonga’s home on Milner road and then proceed to the Vanderbijlpark Cemetery at 10:30 in the morning.
However, one of the community leaders in Small Farm, Thope Moloi told Loxion News that the family was having difficulties in buying groceries for the funeral and therefore requested any kind of help from the community regarding this.
Moloi said they are appealing to anyone who can help the family with groceries for the funeral to please contact her on 078 411 1597. (For more on this story and pictures get yourself a free copy of this weeks edition of Loxion News)