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Advocating for Safer Roads

Advocating for Safer Roads

PPA crash, crime and prosecution report back March – May 2024

Since the launch of the PPA’s Stay Wider of the Rider safe cycling campaign in 2014, we have been monitoring crashes and crime related incidents throughout South Africa. The PPA also follows court cases which involve cyclists very closely. The data we collect monthly is shared with cyclists on our ‘Crash and Crime’ platform. We also share crash information and prosecutions of cases on our social media platforms and in media releases.


The crime incidents throughout South Africa continues but less attacks have been reported to the PPA from March to the end of May this year. In March, three riders were out in the Camps Bay area in Cape Town when one of the cyclists crashed after hitting a brick placed in the main road causing the crash. Criminals place obstacles in the road with the intention to rob cyclists when they crash. These incidents usually occur when it is dark and the roads are quiet, so please stay vigilant if you are out cycling before sunrise and after sunset.

In April, there was another attack along the R44 close to Kayamandi in the Stellenbosch area. Another incident was reported in April when a taxi hit a cyclist from behind in Durban North, in the early hours of the morning whilst he was out training. The driver stopped and robbed him of his cell phone before driving off.


We continue to advise cyclists not to ride alone early in the morning and in the evening as criminals target solo riders. Group rides should also preferably have a backup vehicle. Please continue to report all incidents to the PPA as we notify the local authorities and list the area as a hot spot.


Prior to the Cape Town Cycle Tour in March this year, a cyclist was involved in a fatal crash on the M5. We unfortunately do not have much information about the incident, but we were told it was a recreational cyclist. Please note that it is illegal to ride on freeways. We are aware that certain sections of the M4 in Durban North are legally available to ride bicycles on.


Sadly, this month we had two more incidents that were reported: In the one, a cyclist who participated in the Race to the Sun event was killed when he was hit by a taxi in the Hartbeespoort Dam area. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. In another incident, a cyclist was hospitalized after being hit by a car along Marine Drive, in the Bluff area of Durban.


Please always stay vigilant and be situationally aware: You might have right of way but always stay alert as other road users do not always follow the rules of the road.


Some positives coming out of tragic circumstances:
Very recently, there have been two successful prosecutions. The driver who caused the tragic death of Andre Phiel in early 2022 in Gauteng was sentenced to five years imprisonment in the Randburg Magistrates Court on the 12th of March. The driver pleaded guilty to culpable homicide and hit-and-run.


On Friday 10 May in the Durban Magistrates Court, Giuliano Conti, 35, was sentenced to a six-year jail sentence after he rammed into Veven Naidoo and Kevin Naiker in February 2023. Veven Naidoo sadly lost his life in this crash. Conti was charged with culpable homicide and failing to stop at the scene of an accident, to which he pleaded guilty.


Although these prosecutions represent the end of the criminal process, we once again wish to extend our thoughts to the family and friends of Andre and Veven and we hope they will find some small degree of closure through justice having been served.


Although the sentences handed down in the above two cases could have been longer, the PPA was satisfied given the historical context of these types of cases. On so many occasions perpetrators go free due to a host of factors.  We wish to thank both prosecution teams for their diligent and tireless work to bring about justice in these two cases.


The PPA continues to monitor all cases very closely and we actively extend help whenever it is needed during a case.


Currently there are two cases pending in the Western Cape. In December 2023, Dewald van der Westhuizen was hit by a driver along the main road between Simon’s Town and Glencairn in the early hours of the morning. The driver was arrested in Fish Hoek and charged with attempted murder and failing to stop at the crash scene, but the attempted murder charge was replaced with reckless driving. On Friday 24 May, the accused appeared in court and applied to have his driver’s license reinstated, which was granted as the investigation by SAPS Simon’s Town has been dragging on for five months and the accused has not yet been found guilty. The prosecutor also requested another DNA sample from the cyclist. The case goes to court again in June 2024.


In February of this year, Brent Herbert was involved in a head on collision with a motorcyclist on Chapman’s Peak Drive. The PPA happened to be at the scene of the crash, and it is a miracle that he survived. Brent sustained serious injuries.  It’s been three months since the crash and Brent is still recovering.  The case is pending while evidence is being gathered. We do urge all cyclists to please report crashes, accidents and crime incidents.  The more we are able to log, the more powerful our voice is with government.  Check out our Crash and Crime map for potential hotspots and if possible, try not to ride alone. Rather please join a social or club ride.


The PPA does arrange social rides in Cape Town every Saturday from 07h00 and we cater for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders in summer and intermediate and advanced riders in the winter months. The rides are open to everyone. You are welcome to contact us if you are looking for groups to join in other parts of the country. We will be happy to connect you to clubs elsewhere.   If you are looking to join a bike bus that commutes regularly to work and back, we are happy to connect you to one in your area.


Finally, in celebration of World Bicycle Day on the 03 June 2024, the PPA will be donating a number of bicycles to under privileged schools in targeted areas as part of our ongoing Cool Kid on a Bike, bike distribution program.


Please take care on the road. Stay visible to other road users and most importantly, please follow the rules of the road.


Happy cycling!