Justice wanted for hit-and-run victims

Picture: Supplied

The families of 6-year-old Shaylynn Arendse and 67-year-old Maureen Abrahams who were killed in a hit-and-run accident on Strandfontein Road, in Lotus River, want justice to be served.

A motorist knocked them down as they were standing on the pavement on the corner of 5th Avenue, waiting to cross the road at about 3pm on Thursday September 27.

Shaylynn died in an ambulance at the scene.

Ms Abrahams, who looked after Shaylynn, died at Groote Schuur Hospital at about 6pm.

A 24-year-old man, from Hanover Park, has been charged with culpable homicide and is out on R5 000 bail. He is due back at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday December 12.

Shaylynn’s paternal grandmother Brenda Hendricks Tommy, from Lotus River, said her granddaughter lived in Strandfontein with her mother Sharnelle Arendse, 25. Her son Jason Hendricks lived metres away from the accident scene. Both parents were at work when the accident happened.

Ms Tommy said her granddaughter was a friendly girl, with a very bubbly personality and that she was wise beyond her years.

“She would comment on situations and sum up things like an adult would. She had a sixth sense of knowing when you needed comfort or support,” she said.

“She would hold your hand or stroke your hair,” she said.

Ms Tommy said she has not grieved for Shaylynn because she is in a better place.

“When I was with her in the ambulance I could immediately let her go because I had so many good memories and special moments with her.

“I knew she was in safe hands.

“She is with our Lord – in the best place possible. She is safe now. Safe in the arms of Jesus. Safe from harm, disease, illness or the evil of the world,” she said.

Ms Tommy said they lived in a crime infested, gang and drug ridden area, from which children needed protection.

She said the accused must be held accountable for what he has done.

“He has wiped out the lives of two people. There is no way he can get off the hook because if he does, it will be a travesty of justice,” she said.

Ms Tommy said it was coincidental that Shaylynn would be killed by a white Golf , one similar to the one she used to drive and transport theGrade 1 pupil, who attended Strandfontein Primary School.

She has set up a Facebook group for Shaylynn and Ms Abrahams and a page to generate interest in the case and keep their memory alive.

All Blacks Worldwide rugby fan group, as part of an international group, have also sympathised with Ms Tommy and her family because Shaylynn was a New Zealand rugby team fan.

“I’ve drawn hope and strength from this worldwide supporters’ groups,” she said.

“We have to live with it and we have to accept it but it is hard.’

Ms Tommy said they could not have their granddaughter back but that the man behind the wheel should be held accountable for his actions.

“This will go a long way in easing our pain,” she said.

Ms Abrahams is survived by her son Fernando Abrahams, 42. Her uncle David Abrahams told the Plainsman on Monday October 15 that looking after children was his niece’s life. “She raised Shaylynn,” he said.

He said Ms Abrahams worked at an orphanage in Lotus River, about three years ago.

“She helped people around here, however she could,” he said.

Ms Abrahams was a machinist for about 30 years at a clothing factory in Woodstock, and would do alterations.

“They were two innocent people just going to the shop to buy
something to eat and witnesses saw this pink bundle, that was Shaylynn, being flung in the air,” he said.

He wants the driver’s licence to be taken away.

“Who knows tomorrow he might drive and kill someone else,” he said.

Both families have vowed to attend all future court appearances.