Boy dies after municipal officer runs him over, flees

Henry

A businessman from Mpumalanga is determined that justice be done for his 18-year-old son, after a municipal worker apparently drove him to death during a hit-and-run incident.

Rinus Fourie says that after his son’s death, everything seems to be too much for him.

“I cope not really,” he admitted to RNews on Tuesday.

He refers to a clerk in the financial department of the Lekwa municipality in Standerton.

The officer, whose name is known to us, was recently released on bail of R1 500 and must appear in court again on March 26. He is charged with culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving. In the meantime, as far as is known, he is still working at the municipality.

Fourie is currently trying everything in his power to get the residents of Standerton to protest outside the court at the employee’s next appearance, in an attempt to put pressure on the authorities to prosecute the suspect.

According to Fourie, on February 4, the clerk ran over his son, Mario Iyapian (18) and another woman Zodwa Patricia Molebatsi in Lombard Street. He was arrested soon after.

Since then, Fourie’s life has been turned upside down. He and Mario, his youngest son, would have started full steam ahead with their drilling and earthmoving business this year.

He waited in vain that morning for Mario to come back home.

Mario Iyapian, Rinus Fourie, Lewka, Standerton, Mpumalanga, Zodwa Patricia Molebatsi

“Mario went to visit friends and walked home in the morning. It looks like he and Zodwa walked together, so he could make sure she was safe at home,” says Fourie.

Mario’s friends, who heard about the accident, called Fourie early the next morning and told him to go to the police office immediately.

Once there, Fourie was told the shocking news that his child had died, after he had been knocked over by a car and had to wait more than an hour for an ambulance.

Fourie is convinced that his son would still be here if the driver had stopped immediately and not sped off.

A post-mortem examination later apparently found that Mario did not die immediately after being hit. He allegedly had several bruises on his head and upper body. The injuries to his lower body were serious, with his hips and upper legs believed to be broken.

According to the postmortem report, Mario bled to death internally as a result of these fractures. Zonda, who leaves behind four children, also succumbed to her injuries.

Fourie wants justice to be done. “I just want him to go to jail,” said the grieving father.

Lubabalo Majenge, municipal spokesperson, when asked, said the municipality is aware of the incident. According to him, the employee in question had not been on duty and the municipality considers the matter private.

“It appears that the worker was involved in an accident over the weekend in his private car in his private time. He returned to the scene moments later. The municipality therefore regards the matter as private and will not comment.”