Man killed in hit-and-run died “with no family”

Floris Steenkamp

The 62-year-old Mr Willem Charles du Toit, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Walvis Bay last Saturday, apparently has no relatives.

Du Toit was knocked over by a vehicle, driven by Jeronette Benson, the spouse of a regional councillor. Benson allegedly sped off, and was later arrested on a spot where her vehicle became stuck in sand.
Du Toit died some time after the accident, leading to Benson being charged among others with culpable homicide, leaving the scene of an accident without ascertaining if someone was injured or if there was damage to property.
She made a first appearance in court on Monday, and was released on N$10 000 bail on Tuesday. The case returns to court on 10 November.

The Namibian Police reportedly cannot release the mortal remains of du Toit to people who volunteered to give him a proper funeral. The Police says it needs more time to locate the deceased’s next-of-kin. In fact, the Police yesterday called upon Walvis Bay residents to come forward, should they know of possible family members of du Toit that can be traced.
Several Walvis Bay residents indicated this week they will take responsibility for the cost and arrangements of du Toit’s funeral.
Although du Toit received a monthly pension, and has two funeral policies, the situation is difficult as there are no relatives that could apply for the funeral policies to pay out.
Du Toit was described this week as a quiet man who went about his own business. He lived in a small room on the premises of a couple who took care of him.
The couple said this week they were the only people with whom du Toit had contact and that they can be regarded as his “only family”.
They don’t however, know whether du Toit’s funeral policies would pay out, and don’t want him to end up in an unmarked grave if Government is going to bury him.

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