Teen’s death on N2 sparks on­line fury

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - VUYO MABANDLA

WEST­ERN Cape tourism MEC Alan Winde has sent his con­do­lences to the fam­ily of Marya Tankaria, the Bri­tish teenager who died af­ter ap­par­ently leap­ing out of a fast-mov­ing ve­hi­cle on the N2 high­way near Mos­sel Bay.

“I can’t imag­ine what the Tankaria fam­ily must be go­ing through right now. Los­ing your daugh­ter while you’re both miles apart is a ter­ri­ble thought,” said Winde.

Po­lice spokes­woman Ber­na­dine Steyn said the 18-year-old Bri­ton had been picked up by a Jo­han­nes­burg driver at a garage in Mos­sel Bay on Tues­day and was to have been dropped off at Sedge­field, where she had been liv­ing for a year.

“Ac­cord­ing to the driver, who is South African, the Birm­ing­ham girl sud­denly jumped from the sil­ver VW Caddy along the N2 high­way. She sus­tained mul­ti­ple in­juries and died on the scene.”

Steyn said the driver was ques­tioned at the scene and was very “trau­ma­tised” by the in­ci­dent. The car had been trav­el­ling at “high speed”.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of cul­pa­ble homi­cide. We will also in­ves­ti­gate whether there were any crim­i­nal fea­tures to the in­ci­dent.”

The driver of the ve­hi­cle has not been ar­rested.

Af­ter the news of Tankaria’s death was re­ported in the Bri­tish press this week, lo­cals and for­eign­ers flooded the Lon­don Daily Mail’s web­site with com­ments.

Some slammed the state of se­cu­rity in South Africa, es­pe­cially men­tion­ing the coun­try’s high rape statis­tics, and oth­ers raised con­cerns about the lo­cal po­lice’s “lack of per­for­mance”.

One lo­cal reader wrote: “For­eign­ers, wake up. We have the high­est rape and mur­der rate in the world.”

In the mid­dle of last year In­ter­pol an­nounced that South Africa had the high­est rape rate and the sec­ond high­est mur­der rate in the world.

But Winde slammed the re­sponses as dis­re­spect­ful, and said he was sure the in­ci­dent would not af­fect re­la­tions be­tween Bri­tain and South Africa.

“We have a healthy re­la­tion­ship with the UK. There is no coun­try in the world which has no ex­traor­di­nary in­ci­dents.

“This is a painful time for the girl’s fam­ily and there shouldn’t be vul­gar state­ments made while her rel­a­tives are still com­ing to terms with the or­deal.”

The pro­vin­cial tourism depart­ment said Tankaria’s fam­ily had been con­tacted and it was pos­si­ble they would fly to South Africa soon.

An au­topsy to de­ter­mine the ex­act cause of her death will be con­ducted next week.

TRAGIC: Teenager Marya Tankaria, pic­tured here on a Face­book site.

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