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Family Demands Justice in Hit-and-Run Involving SA Navy Member and Cyclist

Published December 28, 2023
7 months ago

In a tragic incident that has shocked a community, the family of a young South African cyclist is currently going through an agonizing wait for justice. Dewald van der Westhuizen, a 26-year-old cycling enthusiast, lies in a hospital bed after a grievous encounter on the road that left him in need of multiple surgeries, while the man accused of hitting him, a member of the South African Navy, walks free.


The incident took place while Van der Westhuizen was following close behind his cycling coach, Mike Moriarty, aged 57. According to eyewitness reports and the ongoing investigation, a speeding white Volkswagen Polo, driven by 27-year-old Garth Ronald Pasha, veered dangerously close to the cyclists and hit them, causing serious injuries.


The impact on Van der Westhuizen was catastrophic. It is not just the physical injuries but the emotional trauma that Dewald, an enthusiastic and active member of the local cycling community, has to contend with. The event raises serious questions about road safety for cyclists in South Africa and the consequences that reckless drivers face for endangering lives.


The intense frustration experienced by the Van der Westhuizen family is palpable. They cannot fathom why Pasha, who has been arrested and faces serious charges, including reckless and negligent driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and attempted murder, is not currently behind bars.


The charges laid against Pasha signal the severity of the incident. Driving under the influence is unfortunately not uncommon in South Africa, but this case has escalated to involve the more grave charge of attempted murder due to the circumstances under which the collision occurred. This choice by law enforcement to level such a severe charge indicates that they view Pasha's actions as more than just a mere accident.


Following the incident, the community response has been overwhelming, with local cyclists and residents banding together in support of Van der Westhuizen and calling for justice to be served. The cycling community often raises awareness about the dangers riders face on the road, urging for more protection and stricter enforcement of traffic laws, especially concerning driving under the influence.


Dewald's case is not isolated. It highlights a larger problem—road safety for cyclists in South Africa. Cyclists often have to share the road with fast-moving vehicles, and the infrastructure in many parts of the country does not adequately protect them. Incidents like these underscore the pressing need for better road planning, education of drivers about sharing the road, and stricter consequences for violations.


In the wake of the accident, the family has been vocal about their dissatisfaction with the legal process and the pace at which it's moving. Their plight has touched many hearts across the nation and stands as a testament to the dangers cyclists face and the urgency for robust legal recourse in the face of road crimes.


As the community rallies around the Van der Westhuizen family, their plea for justice reverberates. It's a call to action for the legal system to not only hold those responsible accountable but also to serve as a deterrent to potential reckless drivers. For the cycling community, this case has become emblematic of their fight for safety and the right to share the road without fear.



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