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Farming 'compassion trainer' saves elderly motorist from danger on N2

Written by: Paula Luckhoff

The N2 highway leading into Cape Town has become increasingly dangerous to travel - from criminal attacks to animals on the road, motorists have to be on the lookout at all times.

This week, one compassionate driver helped avoid a potentially life-threatening situation when he noticed a car moving erratically between Baden Powell and Spine Road.

Unlike many other passing motorists, Thembi Nomkala knew he had to step in to avert disaster.

RELATED: W Cape traffic chief: Stay close to other motorists on N2 to stay safe

The SPCA education officer explains to Africa Melane how he managed to guide what turned out to be an 80-year-old woman to the side of the road and get the attention of law enforcement.

The story ends with Nomkala following the woman home to Muizenberg to ensure her safety, after helping to change her tyre.

RELATED: Locals respond to ongoing crime on the N2 highway

I hooted non-stop - it's the same reaction I have when I see an animal in danger (on the road). Then I drove past the car and stopped and hooted.

Thembi Nomkala, Education officer - Cape of Good Hope SPCA

Then she started driving slower and I pushed her with the car, flashing and hooting to go further because it's not safe here. It's squatter camps next to Khayelitsha, it's not safe even for me.

Thembi Nomkala, Education officer - Cape of Good Hope SPCA

After Nomkala had found a safer spot he asked the woman to open her window and took care to introduce himself and point out that he was wearing a uniform identifying him as an SPCA employee.

He then made sure her car was locked and flagged down a law enforcement vehicle passing at the right moment.

I went in the middle of the road like crazy to say 'Stop! Stop!'... We changed her tyre and I followed her all the way to Muizenberg.

Thembi Nomkala, Education officer - Cape of Good Hope SPCA

Nomkala had been on his way home from training emerging farmers in the Mfuleni area at the time of the incident.

The education officer, who grew up "surrounded by farm animals" in the Eastern Cape, tells Africa more about his work with the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and its programme to teach compassion in farming.

Livestock would graze next to the N2 - goats and cows and so on - and no-one is looking after them. Then we decided to start this project and we worked together with a company that has funded this.

Thembi Nomkala, Education officer - Cape of Good Hope SPCA

We take 20 farmers for six months in the classroom (provided by a local high school) and teach them the basics like shelter, nutrition, the health of animals.

Thembi Nomkala, Education officer - Cape of Good Hope SPCA

He says there's been a huge drop in the number of incidents involving animals on the N2 since the project started three years ago.

Nomkala wants all Capetonians to help the SPCA by keeping their eyes open for any injured or neglected animals, especially strays in danger on the road.

Listen to the conversation in the audio below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Farming 'compassion trainer' saves elderly motorist from danger on N2




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