Son recounts watching dad die pinned by a taxi
CHARLENE SOMDUTH firstname.lastname@example.org
KEOWN Shanganlall watched helplessly as his dad took his last breath while being pinned to a tree by a taxi in Stonebridge Drive, Phoenix, last Monday. Radesh Shanganlall, 55, an accountant, sustained multiple injuries. He died at the scene. Shanganlall said his father received a message that looters were breaking into a nearby shopping complex. “He sent out a message on our community chat asking neighbours to join him at the entrance of our road on Stonebridge Drive. He wanted to ensure that looters did not attack homes in the area. I went out with him.” Shanganlall said they were standing on the roadside with other residents and were watching the looters trying to get into shops at the shopping complex. “All of a sudden, a mini-bus taxi rammed into us. I was thrown into the air and landed near the accident scene. I was unconscious for a few seconds. “When I got up, I saw my dad’s body was pinned to a tree. There was blood around his stomach. The taxi driver got out and ran into the crowd that was looting. No one could find him.” Shanganlall said his mother, Shanthie, and his girlfriend arrived and tried to help them. “My mother was in tears. She could not believe what had happened. Residents called the paramedics, but they could not reach my father in time. I watched him take his last breath.” Shanganlall said he was trying to be strong for his mother and sister, Arissa, who is working as a teacher in China. “My parents were married for 34 years. My mother is lost without my dad, and my sister is hurting. She is so far away, and with the Covid-19 restrictions, she is unable to return home.” Shanganlall, who sustained soft tissue damage and a few bruises, said: “My father was the perfect dad. He always put us first. He loved riding on his motorbike and enjoyed watching soccer.” He said the family were praying the taxi driver was caught and held accountable. Radesh’s funeral was on Sunday. Family and friends took to Facebook to pay tribute to Radesh. Rishan Singh wrote: “We rode bikes together for many years … He was a friend that became my brother. We rode many miles together, and today we laid my brother to rest. Today he rides the highways of heaven.” Nkule Ncwane wrote: “Rest in peace Bhuti, from your Bookkeepers Team at Ithala. You will be dearly missed. Our hearts are sore to the core. May time heal us all. Condolences to the family.” Colonel Thembeka Mbele, a provincial police spokesperson, said a case of culpable homicide is being investigated by Phoenix SAPS.