Two die: U’hage driver in court

Tremaine van Aardt

A UITENHAGE man charged with culpable homicide and drunk driving appeared briefly in the Uitenhage Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where his case was postponed to March.

Ellington Potgieter, 45, is accused of crashing into a group of friends in Grasvoel Street, Rosedale, at the weekend, killing two of them and seriously injuring the third.

Ricardo Fortuin, 12, died at the scene on Saturday night and Leonard Jordaan, 20, died in the Uitenhage Provincial Hospital several hours later. Chanice Jordaan, 14, is in a stable condition and will undergo knee surgery today.

Leonard’s mother, Veronica Jordaan, said yesterday the three had been sent to the shop to buy electricity.

“On their way back, the man rode them over.

“My son was rushed to Provincial. At 3am the doctors came to me and said I needed to call my family and friends to say good- bye after they discovered he had blood on the brain and there was nothing they or anyone can do about it. He was my ‘hart se punt’ [pinnacle of my being] and now he is gone.”

Jordaan described the three as “wonderful and joyful children who were always a pleasure to be around.

“These were church-going children who respected their elders and were never without a smile on their faces. Now none of them will smile again,” she said.

Ricardo’s aunt, Annie Steenkamp, cried as she spoke about the Caritas Primary School Grade 6 pupil who was “like a son” to her. “I have looked after him as my own since he was three months old. My heart breaks every time I see anything of his lying around the house. I don’t know how I am going to survive without him,” she said.

Police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Gerda Swart said police were investigating two cases of culpable homicide and driving under the influence.

“The 45-year-old man from Rosedale bumped into the children at approximately 8.25pm in Acacia Road, Rosedale. He has been released on R1000 bail. I am however unable to confirm whether or not it has been paid.”

Potgieter is due back in court on March 27.