Cycling community shattered

Ingrid van Wyk Scholtz had impacted many people's lives, not just in the cycling community.

21 November 2019 | Accidents

Paul Kambata (41) appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on Tuesday after he was arrested on Monday night in connection with the fatal hit-and-run accident on the Western Bypass in which 38-year-old cyclist Ingrid van Wyk Scholtz died.

Kambata was allegedly driving the black Mercedes on Friday night that bumped Scholtz from behind while she was cycling inside the yellow line.

After initial reports that Scholtz was hit by a taxi, the taxi driver in question approached the police and told them a black Mercedes had hit Van Wyk Scholtz and drove away after the collision.

Kambata, who was arrested at his home on Monday night, is facing six charges, which include a main charge of culpable homicide.

Magistrate Linus Samunzala informed the court the other charges are reckless driving, failure to stop at an accident scene, failure to provide assistance to an injured person at an accident scene, obstruction of justice and failure to report an accident.

Kambata indicated he will appoint private legal representation. He remains in custody.

The possibility that he could interfere directly or indirectly with the investigation or flee was pointed out by the prosecutor, as well as the seriousness of the charges against him.

The case was postponed until 20 February 2020 for legal representation, as well as for further investigation, which includes the compiling of a forensic report, a post-mortem and recording eyewitness statements.

Scholtz was a city planner and partner at Stubenrauch Planning Consultants for many years.

She was also an avid cyclist who took part in the Desert Dash ultra-race from Windhoek to Swakopmund as a solo cyclist.

A memorial service will be held at 19:00 on Friday at the United Reformed Church (URC) in Khomasdal. The funeral service is on Saturday at 09:00, also at the URC.

'Cannot be true'

Scholtz's long-time friend, Connie-Marlene Theyse, said: “My first reaction was that it couldn't be true. Then you stand by the road where it happened and realise it's a reality. My heart is broken and I'm struggling to get it in my head. “

Theyse and Scholtz cycled regularly and attended a spinning class on a weekly basis.

“She had such a beautiful heart and she just always wanted to bring out the best in everyone. If Ingrid put her head on something, she did.

“Although she could no longer see properly at the Nedbank Desert Dash at one point, she continued and cycled. She said 'I can see the pink and yellow of your windbreakers, just drive slowly in front of me'. We all cheered her on. After a while, we asked for a standby vehicle to pick her up, because she just couldn't anymore,” Theyse said.

Scholtz had impacted many people's lives, not just in the cycling community, Theyse added.

She said no one is safe on Namibia's roads. “There is not a cyclist who has not had an anxious moment on the road with a car. We ask that we also be taken into consideration.”

Andrew Poolman en Lloyd Zandberg

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