A Facebook quest to track down a Good Samaritan paid off when women who met in distressing circumstances were reunited thanks to social media.
When office clerk Khanya Njengele, 29, landed up in a bloodied heap and unable to move on a Berea road after a hit-and-run driver slammed into her friend’s car on Friday, July 15, she felt terrified and alone.
But then, while bystanders took pictures of the accident scene at the intersection between Pearce and Chamberlain roads, two “angels” in the form of Kirsten Roebuck, 21, and Marelize van der Berg, 28, swooped in to help.
“I was terrified. My friend Sihle Kwebulana, who had been driving, was lying on his side in the middle of the road not moving and people standing around were saying he looked dead, but I could not move to check on him. I saw how smashed up the car was. I could not feel my leg and my head was bleeding and I thought ‘maybe this is it’. I kept thinking of my 10-year-old daughter.”
Roebuck was near the petrol station with a friend who was playing Pokemon Go, when she saw the accident happen.
“We ran to help and I knelt by Khanya’s head the whole time. I had her blood and tears on my hands. I gave her my bracelet because my mom gave it to me before she passed away four years ago. It helps me when I am nervous so I thought it could help her too. I wanted to pay it forward.”
When Van der Berg, who was at a braai nearby heard a crash, she jumped in a car to find out what happened. “I saw two people lying in the road. They looked dead. I ran to the lady first and told her she had been in an accident and that help was coming.”
For Njengele the reassuring presence of caring women at her side was much-needed comfort.
“They were like angels,” said Njengele. “I thought no one would help me until they came. Kirsten sat next to me all the time and Marelize told me not to close my eyes when I wanted to sleep. She directed the ambulances when they came.”
When Njengele began to shiver and go into shock, Roebuck removed her jersey to cover her.
“She also put a bracelet on me and said ‘this will protect you’. If no one had helped me maybe I’d have taken my last breath.”
While recuperating for two weeks in Frere Hospital where she was treated for a broken femur, head injuries and a gashed hand, Njengele could not stop thinking about her angels.
And so, once she was discharged and had visited Kwebulana in hospital who is on the mend, she posted photographs of the grey cardigan and the bracelet she had not removed since the accident. Van der Berg was the first to respond to her appeal for those who had helped her to come forward, so she could thank them.
She met Van der Berg for coffee and muffins on Monday afternoon and yesterday afternoon was reunited with Roebuck.
“It’s so exciting to see her in recovery,” said Roebuck, a litigation secretary who works in Nahoon where the Daily Dispatch photographed the emotional reunion. “She was so strong, but I didn’t know if she would make it.” — firstname.lastname@example.org