We all know of the horrific floods which hit eThekwini on October 10th. And, through social media postings, many thousands of people around the country know about the man who rescued a distraught lady from her flood-trapped car. What many don’t know, however, is that the man who emerged from the incident as a national hero was a truck driver from Time Freight writes Patrick O’Leary.
No-one expected the storm to be so vicious. And it hit eThekwini a mere day after Gauteng was battered by an equally vicious storm which saw many buildings wrecked. Click here to see our story on the damage done to Honeydew Hino by the storm.
In eThekwini though, it wasn’t so much the damage caused by the wind that captured the nation’s attention. Rather it was the flooding caused by the torrential rain. Photographs of vehicles trapped on the flooded N2 highway near the old Durban airport started filtering through on social media – and then came one which turned one man into a hero.
It was a photograph of a guy who had stripped down and paddled through the water towards a car with a woman trapped inside as the flood waters rose around her. He had seen from the side of the highway that she was distraught and had gone to her rescue.
The lady’s name was Janet Hart, a 60-year-old grandmother and the rescuer was 40-year-old Sibusiso Matrick Mbhele, a truck driver from Time Freight. After carrying Hart to safety, he then went on to rescue a number of other people who were also trapped in their cars.
In a story by Karinda Jagmohan in the Sunday Tribune, Mbhele said that when the storm struck, he had been driving to Port Shepstone to deliver a package. When he saw the stranded vehicles, he parked his truck on the side of the highway, stripped off his overall and went to help the victims, drawing on his lifesaving instincts from his years as a voluntary lifeguard at the North Coast Lifesaving Club where he trained.
In the article, he was quoted as saying: “When you give a hand to someone, God will bless you. I didn’t expect all this publicity. It is our duty as humans.”
No friend. You went beyond the call of duty. As Etienne van Ravesteyn, CEO of Time Freight says: “He showed great courage and compassion by risking his own life to save that of others. Well done Sibusiso, you are a great ambassador of the Time Freight and DPD Laser brands.”
What a great man. What a humble man. The Hart family has since met with him to thank him for what he did. However, from the trucking industry, FleetWatch would also like to pay tribute to Sibusiso by donating to him a full set of books from our FleetWatch Truckers Library. This is as a salute to a man who saw his act as merely doing “his duty as a human”. Well done Sibusiso!
Now, we just have to get it down to KwaZulu-Natal. I wonder which freight company we should use? We need one which will get it there safely and on time. I wonder….Ag, let’s try Time Freight. He Heeee.