Father of three dies in freak accident

Thembani Ngantweni

A Muizenberg business owner has started a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to raise funds for the family of a man killed in a freak accident in St James.

Thembani Ngantweni, who worked as a patroller for Mountain Men Security, was on his way home to Masiphumelele on Wednesday September 7 when he fell off his bike into the road and was driven over by a truck transporting goods for Pick n Pay.

Candice Cyan Khoury, who started the BackaBuddy page, said the campaign aimed to help his family cover their basic needs in the next few months “while they grieve their enormous loss”.

Mr Ngantweni was the sole breadwinner for his family. He leaves behind his wife and three children.

Ms Khoury said Mr Ngantweni died after a long day of protecting the community. She said the Mountain Men are very efficient and in many cases under-appreciated as they are the reason for a “huge decline in local crime.”

An eyewitness who asked not to be named said he had seen Mr Ngantweni lose his balance on his bicycle and fall forward on the road and under the wheels of a truck.

A former nurse, who also asked not to be named, said while she did not witness the accident she was on the scene straight after it had happened.

The witness’s wife was there with him and a car guard, she said.

“We did check for a pulse but it was clear he had passed so we said a little prayer for him and covered him up and waited there with him until emergency responders arrived,” she said.

She said the driver of the truck was “very shaken up” as it was not his fault.

Operations Manager at Mountain Men Security, Charlien Beukman, said Mr Ngantweni started working for them in August.

She said he was humble, respectful and hard-working.

Mountain Men patrollers, she said, had been at the scene of the accident but as his body had already been covered they did not realise it was “one of their own.”

She said they only found out that it was him the following day when his family informed them.

“I have been working for Mountain Men Security for nine years and in that time we have never lost one of our own,” she said.

She said it was a shock and difficult for the rest of his colleagues and they had flown the Mountain Men flag at half mast the day after his death.

She said she recalls the day Mr Ngantweni had brought his CV to the office.

“He was told to email it to us and it was in our inbox about five minutes later,” she said.

She said Mr Ngantweni had mentioned during his interview that he had three children but due to his financial situation he had to send his two eldest children to the Eastern Cape to live with family while their youngest child remained with them here in Masiphumelele.

Muizenberg police spokesman Captain Stephen Knapp confirmed the incident and said a case of culpable homicide has been opened.

Janine Caradonna from Corporate Image on behalf of Pick n Pay said the truck involved in Mr Ngantweni’s accident is owned by Lieben Logistics which was transporting goods for Pick n Pay.

“I’ve been told that Lieben Logistics agreed to contribute to the funeral as a gesture of sympathy and support to the family,” she said.

However, the Echo could not confirm this as Mr Ngantweni’s wife declined to speak to the media.

To contribute to the fund, visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/nonkumbulo-bikwe-5393876523125677933