Cape Town – They were inseparable and enjoying what they love best, playing hockey for the Langa Hockey Club and they died together, after they were hit by an e-hailing taxi driver who lost control of his vehicle while escaping hijackers.
The families of Nomawethu Manzini, 28, and Busisiwe Gabuza, 24, are still in shock over the death of the two women, who were knocked over by a Bolt (formerly known as Taxify) driver who was evading a hijack and robbery.
They were killed in the early hours of the morning, around 1am, last Monday. They had been standing near a boundary wall on the corner of Bennie and Church Streets, in Langa, when the taxi came speeding towards them.
The driver had just been robbed in Church Street and had pressed on the accelerator, to evade the robbery, when he lost control of the vehicle.
Manzini will be buried on Friday while her close friend, Gabuza, is set to be laid to rest on Saturday.
Bolt country manager for SA, Gareth Taylor, confirmed the incident.
“Bolt also understands that two bystanders became casualties of the incident. Bolt’s High Priority team has been activated and is cooperating with the police to aid in their investigations into the two cases that have been opened relating to this incident,” he said.
Taylor said Bolt was working closely with Namola, a safety app, to identify crime hotspots and update drivers.
Manzini’s aunt, Elizabeth Manzini, recounted the tragic day.
“I heard a loud bang coming from outside and jumped out of bed. As I was getting out of the house, I heard people say its Wewe (Manzini’s nickname). One lady told me Wewe has been hit by a car and she wasn’t sure if she was dead or alive,” she said.
The aunt said both women had just left her house when the incident happened.
“We are still struggling to get to terms with what has happened. Wewe was a good girl, quiet and loved to play sports,” said the grieving aunt.
Talia Ngwevela, a friend and hockey team mate, said Manzini and Gabuza were very close friends.
“They were unemployed and often offered their time to help out coaching the younger teams or doing things that were needed by the team. There was never a dull moment in the team when they were around,” she said.
Ngwevela said the community was angered by crime in the area.
“Everyone in Langa is angry because the people who lost their lives are not the ones who committed the crime. No one blames the driver, it is the people who robbed the driver who are to be blamed.”
The Langa community has since formed a neighbourhood watch group that will patrol the area.