‘They were just no­bod­ies’

Car ac­ci­dent fo­cuses on sur­viv­ing Gen­er­a­tions ac­tor and for­gets about us, says griev­ing mother and mother-in-law

CityPress - - News - NTOMBI­ZODWA MAKHOBA ntombi­zodwa@city­press.co.za

‘It is sad that my son and his brother-in­law were not celebri­ties – they were just no­bod­ies.” Th­ese were Doris van Zyl’s emo­tional words af­ter her son Dono­van van Zyl (24) and her son-in-law, Jerry Co­ertze (28) died in a car ac­ci­dent that in­volved Gen­er­a­tions The Legacy ac­tor Ra­pu­lana Seiphemo last Sun­day night.

Sit­ting on a black couch in a tiny lounge at the fam­ily’s home in Krugers­dorp on the West Rand, Van Zyl said it was sad that the fo­cus was only on the ac­tor.

No­body was pay­ing at­ten­tion to any­one else who had died or been in­jured, she said.

Dono­van and an­other per­son were cer­ti­fied dead on the scene, while Co­ertze died in hos­pi­tal on Tues­day. Dono­van’s older brother, Jody, sur­vived the ac­ci­dent.

The brothers were re­turn­ing from Pre­to­ria, where they had fetched Co­ertze when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened.

A tear­ful Van Zyl said Dono­van, a mo­tor spares sales­man, had told her how much he loved her and that he would see her later.

“He was plan­ning to get mar­ried to his fi­ancée, Althea van Ee­den, this year. My son was a dreamer,” she said, and wept un­con­trol­lably.

“Why did God take such a hum­ble soul? I can’t even sleep or eat since the pass­ing of my son,” she said.

Dono­van’s three-year-old son, Ri­aan, was also not cop­ing.

“We’ve tried to ex­plain to him that his dad is with God, but ev­ery time he hears the sound of the gate, he runs to the gate and asks, ‘Where is my Pa? Where is my Pa?’”

She said the fam­ily prayed that the ac­ci­dent would not be­come a miss­ing-docket case.

They also felt that it was not right that the fo­cus was on one per­son, while there were six peo­ple in­volved in the ac­ci­dent.

The me­dia was talk­ing only about Seiphemo, she said.

“Who are the fam­i­lies of the peo­ple who got in­jured in the Audi A4? Why are they not talk­ing about them?”

Fred­die Bezuiden­hout, the fam­ily’s spokesper­son, said it was not an or­di­nary ac­ci­dent.

“The eye­wit­ness told us that Ra­pu­lana was driv­ing ... and he was speed­ing.”

Jody, who is still limp­ing, re­quested an early dis­charge from hos­pi­tal so that he could at­tend the fu­neral of his brother and brother-in-law. It is planned for Tues­day. He told City Press that he could not re­call much of what had hap­pened on Sun­day night.

The only thing he could clearly re­mem­ber was that Dono­van was driv­ing and they were lis­ten­ing to mu­sic on his brother’s phone.

“It all hap­pened so fast. I couldn’t hear, see or feel any­thing. I re­mem­ber wak­ing up in an am­bu­lance and ask­ing where my brother and Jerry were.”

Ac­cord­ing to ER24, two men were killed in­stantly when the two ve­hi­cles col­lided, and four oth­ers were in­jured on the N14 near Diep­sloot last Sun­day night.

Seiphemo, who re­joined Gen­er­a­tions The Legacy to save the soapie two years ago, is re­cov­er­ing in a Jo­han­nes­burg hos­pi­tal.

The soapie’s spokesper­son, Gaaratwe Mokhethi, said the ac­tor’s predica­ment would not have a huge im­pact on the cur­rent sto­ry­line, since they shoot two months in ad­vance.

“But in the long run, the writ­ers might have to be forced to push other sto­ry­lines while he is re­cov­er­ing.

“We have a meet­ing with the writ­ing team to­mor­row and the de­ci­sion will be taken then,” she said.

Po­lice have been tight-lipped about the ac­ci­dent and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into what hap­pened.

How­ever, eye­wit­nesses said Seiphemo was the driver of the white Audi A4, but noth­ing has been re­vealed about the pas­sen­gers who were trav­el­ling with him at the time of ac­ci­dent.

One of them died in­stantly. The other pas­sen­ger is still in hos­pi­tal.

Pro­vin­cial spokesper­son Cap­tain Tsi­etsi Mo­fo­keng said po­lice were con­duct­ing their own in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cause of the ac­ci­dent.

“The in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer is busy col­lect­ing the ev­i­dence that was around the scene.

“We will then is­sue the of­fi­cial state­ment soon,” said Mo­fo­keng.

Po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of cul­pa­ble homi­cide, he said.

PHO­TOS: LUCKY NX­U­MALO

Dono­van van Zyl was the driver of the white Toy­ota in an ac­ci­dent that claimed three lives. Here he is with his son, Ri­aan Ac­tor Ra­pu­lana Seiphemo was speed­ing, ac­cord­ing to eye­wit­nesses Dono­van’s older brother, Jody van Zyl, sur­vived the ac­ci­dent with mi­nor in­juries Doris van Zyl suf­fered the news of two tragic deaths in one night

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