Daughter rushes to dad’s defence after footage goes viral
A YOUNG accident victim at the centre of a filmed “road-rage” assault has come out in defence of what is believed to be her father, who allegedly beat a driver in full view of other motorists on one of Port Elizabeth’s busiest roads.
Video footage of the assault, which was taken by another motorist at the scene in Cape Road, near the William Moffett intersection, went viral on social media – attracting 66 000 hits in under 23 hours on The Herald’s YouTube channel alone.
The man who filmed the incident, along with a family member, say they fear for their lives, after receiving threats for posting the video.
The assault also stirred controversy because the video shows a heavily built white man thumping a smaller black man.
The incident was sparked by an accident involving a woman, who identified herself to The Herald via e-mail as Ilke Smit.
After her car was allegedly rammed from the rear, Smit contacted her father, who rushed to the scene and allegedly attacked the driver of the other vehicle.
The attack took place in full view of paramedics and bystanders.
Despite extensive efforts, The Herald has been unable to track down some of the parties involved, for comment, while someone close to the woman refused to comment.
Police have no record of the accident or the assault and it could not be established which tow truck company, if any, had towed the vehicle away.
Following an appeal on The Herald’s Facebook page for witnesses, an e-mail was received from a woman, purporting to be Ilke Smit.
Received on Tuesday, it said: “I can comment on this so-called ‘road rage’ – people are quick to judge if they don’t know the whole story.
“So here it is: Yesterday morning at 9, I was driving in Cape Road and stopped for a red light.
“As I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw a Honda Ballade speeding down on my little Citroën C1.
“I believed and prayed that the person driving would see me and stop.
“But the next thing I knew, he bumped my car with such a hell of a speed that I was pushed for 15 metres – and what was the excuse of the driver, [that] the robot was green.
“My question is: why in the hell would I stop at a green robot?
“Thanks to the man – who has no licence, no ID and no passport – I have a dislocated shoulder and a written-off car.
“My last question is: are you people with nasty comments parents, because I know that any parent would do the same.”
Smit confirmed last night that the e-mail was from her.
“I don’t want to make any more comments,” she said.
“I stand by what I wrote in the mail and that is all.” She then terminated the call.
The video shows the accident took place in wet conditions.
The footage shows the alleged aggressor attacking the driver of the other vehicle, with the driver clinging to a pole and crying out: “Help me, help me.”
The large man is heard saying, “I will f***ing f*** you up, you p**s,” as he punches the slightly built, younger man on the head and upper body.
The man who filmed the video is heard saying to the assault victim: “Don’t worry, my man, I will send you the footage – you can sue.”
The aggressor then joins a group, including paramedics who had watched. The victim, who appears unhurt, walks over to the same group.
The family of the woman who posted the video say they have been threatened and called names.
“My relative was passing by when he saw the incident,” one family member, who did not want to be named, said. “He took the video because he was quite upset that someone could just hit another person like that.
“I was also upset and decided to post the video, asking, Who is this excuse of a human being?” She said her post drew mixed reactions. “There were quite a few people who agreed that what the other [white] guy did was wrong whereas the rest felt that the black deserved the beatings,” the woman said.
“The family member who took the video was also threatened, with some people asking how he could take a video like that because black people attacked whites all the time.
“Some wanted to know our residential address, saying they want to sort out the person who took the video,” the woman said.
“I believe that there are always two sides to a story.
“They could have left the matter in the hands of the police to sort out – there was no need for the white guy to take the law into his own hands.”
Gardmed owner Dave Gardner, whose paramedics were at the scene, said they had seen two men scuffling when they arrived on the scene.
They had immediately contacted him and he advised them to stay out of the fight and to contact police and traffic officials, which they did.
Gardner said it appeared that a woman, who had been involved in the accident, had called her father for assistance.
“An argument broke out between the father and the man involved after the father asked for his insurance details.
“They [the medics] were under the impression that he was not insured or licensed and would not give his details,” Gardner said.
“We loaded the girl into the ambulance and took her to hospital.”
In another media report, Gardner said: “The public is sometimes under the impression we are like the police and have to intervene, but this is not the case.”
Police spokeswoman Sandra Janse van Rensburg said she could not trace any report of an accident or assault in Cape Road on Monday.
The Mount Road and Kabega Park police stations could also not find any record of the incident.
When traced yesterday, Smit’s boyfriend, Luhan Janse van Vuuren, refused to comment.
Members of the family and those involved in the filming and posting of the video had removed the content and information by yesterday.