In the early hours of the morning on 2 March, an international student visiting Pretoria was knocked down by a car in a hit-and-run. The police require witnesses who were on the scene to come forward in order for a case to be opened.
John*, a 29-year-old astrology student from Luxembourg in Europe, was hit by a speeding white VW Polo at approximately 04:00 while crossing Burnett Street. Security guards who witnessed the incident explained that he was crossing the street with two ladies when he was hit. The car swerved slightly after hitting him and carried on down the street, turning right into Festival Street. The security guards added that before the car hit him, it neither slowed down nor hooted at John who had checked to see if the street was clear before crossing.
Tertius Fourie, the owner of the student guest house in Brooklyn where John was staying, was contacted by the Tshwane Hospital where he was admitted with critical injuries. Fourie has been urgently trying to contact John’s relatives overseas and has been looking into the case. Fourie explained that when he arrived at the hospital he was horrified to find that, almost 18 hours after the accident, John had still not been cleaned by hospital staff members and was covered in dry blood and wearing the clothes that he had been found in.
The Metro Police, who were reportedly first on the scene, told Perdeby that because an injury was incurred, the matter is typically handed over to the SAPS. SAPS, however, is unable to open a case without any witnesses. Fourie said that a number of witnesses apparently were on the scene, but as their details were not taken down he has no way of contacting them and asking them to come forward. He urges anyone who has any information about the incident to approach SAPS who will then be able to investigate the matter further.
Susanna*, John’s girlfriend, was devastated when she found out that her boyfriend had been involved in such a serious accident. She had to make quick arrangements to get to Gauteng from Cape Town last Thursday to make all of the arrangements for him. “I feel so helpless that I can’t be there with him and I don’t know what exactly happened or if he is even alright,” she said on Thursday morning before she was due to arrive in the province. She added that she hopes that whoever is responsible for the accident is brought to justice. She also wanted to thank everyone who went the extra mile to help John when she was unable to.
At the time of going to print, John was unconscious and in intensive care at the Tshwane Hospital with a skull fracture and other serious injuries to his face and shoulders.
*The student’s name has been changed on request to protect his identity.