Car lovers open hearts to infant
Members of Nelson Mandela Bay’s “stance” car community have opted to exchange their coilovers and rims for cribs and rattles in an effort to support their late friend’s newborn daughter.
Junior “Boetie” Boetmanter, 23, who died in a car accident on June 29 never saw nor held his daughter, Zariah, who was born premature a month earlier, because of the Covid-19 regulations.
Zariah and her mother, Tiffany Essen, are still in Dora Nginza Hospital, where the infant is in an incubator.
Determined to do something for the little girl, Boetmanter’s friends have come together, vowing to be father figures to her.
They have also raised more than R10,000 for the child and donations continue to flow in, with some northern areas businesses dedicating a portion of their profits to the cause.
Boetmanter, from Gelvandale, was well known in the Bay’s stance car fraternity — whose enthusiasts customise their cars by dropping their suspension and using larger wheels and tyres with negative camber.
Matthew Jordaan said he had known Boetmanter for more than eight years and described him as a friendly person who enjoyed helping others.
Jordaan said after his death, Boetmanter’s friends called a number of car crews in the city to brainstorm ideas on how best to assist the young man’s family.
They have since held a car convey run and received commitments from at least two business owners to donate a portion of their profits for July.
“Boetie never touched nor saw his daughter — the child never got the chance to develop a bond with her father,” Jordaan said.
“We want to give to his daughter what Boetie couldn’t give, so one of his other friends suggested that we organise a run and named it Boetie midnight run.
“On July 1, we ran from Cleary Park at 7.30pm to Gelvandale stadium.
“From there we had a convoy of more than 200 cars to Summerstrand.
“Through that ride alone we managed to raise more than R10,000, which is in a bank account for his daughter ... and we’re still getting donations.”
Speaking on behalf of the child’s mother, Boetmanter’s sister, Tiffany Octavia Hartebees, said his death had ushered in an “unreal time” for the family.
She said he had been driving on Stanford Road, in the Helenvale area, on June 29, when his car suffered a burst tyre and rolled, killing him.
“My brother was the breadwinner at his home where he lived with his mother in Gelvandale, I can’t believe my baby brother is gone.
“Among other things, we draw strength from the fact that he has so many amazing friends — seeing the amount of support from them has been overwhelming.”
She said the family would remember Boetmanter as the life of the party, someone who enjoyed making people laugh and was always willing to help others.
“He loved his baby girl more than anything in the world — he really wanted to give her the best he could.
“He left before he was able to put money aside for his daughter.
“I call his girlfriend daily to check how she and the baby are, I tell her to focus on getting her baby strong so she can come home to her family.
“I knew my brother had friends, I just didn’t know they were so many and they cared so much about him.
“This has really made the loss of my brother a little more bearable,” Hartebees said.
Charne Scott, who was a close friend of Boetmanter’s said he was an amazing person who was always in a good mood and who lifted other people’s spirits.
“He loved his cars. His daughter was born on May 29.
“He was so excited, his daughter and girlfriend are still in hospital, we can’t wait to meet them though Boetie unfortunately never got that chance.
“We had many conversations about her, how he was working hard to get her and her mom everything they needed before they got home, but God had other plans.
“People have really shown so much love — what we saw was a true reflection on the type of person he was and how we all knew him.
“There are people that pledged to make monthly contributions,” Scott said.
Scott said anyone who wanted to donate could make a deposit into the Absa account set up for Zariah, account number 9358712330.
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