By Kyle Robinson
The Rhodes soccer first team was involved in a car accident on Sunday 12 October after returning from a match against Walter Sisulu University. The minibus transporting the team narrowly avoided a direct head-on collision with a small truck. The team was very fortunate in sustaining only minor injuries.
Already down after losing a match to a last minute goal, the team was travelling back from Umthatha when the accident occurred. The late afternoon rain impeded visibility and made the concrete slippery.
Thabo Lukhaimane, a first-year soccer player, said the Rhodes minibus swerved to avoid hitting cattle crossing the road, this causing the vehicle to collide with the truck. Lukhaimane says that there were two collisions. Both drivers swerved just enough so that the truck crashed into the corner of the minibus on the driver’s side. The truck then swung round and crashed into the side of the bus. The Rhodes vehicle landed up in a roadside ditch on the side of the road.
“I was taking a nap during the first collision. When it hit the side, I hit the top of the car. Next thing, we were all running away from the car,” said Lukhaimane. Members of the team escaped with cuts and bruises. Those sitting at the back, by the window, suffered cuts on the face after being sprayed with broken glass. The team coach, Luyanda Papu, who was sitting in the front of the bus, received the full force of the impact and sustained injuries to his hips, back and neck. He was admitted to Butterworth Hospital for two days and has since had to go for scans in Port Elizabeth for spasms in his vertebra. He is now on his way to a full recovery.