Kinders - waardeer jul ouers. Ouers - waardeer jul kinders.
Teen dies after reuniting with dad
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Gustav Johnson talks about the death of his son, Gavin. (Yunus Mohamed, Die Burger)
Matric pupil killed minutes after exam
Cape Town - A matric pupil who had only just gotten to know his father died in an accident on Tuesday. The father and son had only spent five days together.
Gavin Engelke, a pupil at Hoërskool Bellville, wrote a matric exam just before he was involved in a scooter accident barely a block from the school, at about 11:00 on Tuesday.
He drove over a pavement in Jessie Street, lost control of the scooter and crashed into the wall of an apartment building.
Rescue workers arrived at the scene shortly afterwards. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him and struggled in vain for almost 40 minutes to resuscitate him.
His mother, Dianne Engelke, collapsed when she arrived at the scene. "It can't be, it can't be," she said, according to a police spokesperson, Captain Fienie Nimb. She was too shocked to talk to Die Burger.
Reunited with dad
Gavin, 18, had tracked down his father, Gustav Johnson, about a month ago. He then moved out of his mother and stepfather, Werner Engelke's home, and moved to the home of his stepmother, Christelle Johnson, in Richwood, Bothasig.
His father said on Tuesday night from his home that he worked for long stretches of time in the USA and had almost never seen his son since he and Gavin's mom divorced about a decade ago.
He came back to South Africa on Thursday. "I wanted to take it one day at a time and win his confidence until he opened up and talked to me."
But they only had five days to see one another before Tuesday's fatal accident.
"My son wanted to spread his wings. He had wonderful dreams for the future. He was to study in a management field."
Johnson also wanted to pay for his studies. "He only had to finish matric."
"We are not made to say goodbye to our children," Johnson said.
Principal Johan Crous described Gavin as a talented boy who always wanted to help others.
His friend, Werner Gouws, 25, on Tuesday waited in vain for Gavin to pick him up. "I thought he was busy and couldn't imagine that anything was wrong. He was a joker. I will miss spending time with him."
A good friend, Bobby Page, described Gavin as humble and generous. "He would help you no matter what."
Gavin was also survived by three sisters, Nicole Engelke, 15, Rencha, 5, and René Hamman-Johnson. René is just three months old.
A memorial service would be held on Thursday at 12:00 in the NG church in Bellville East.
- Reporting by Jodine Cloeteen and Thinus Dippenaar.
- Die Burger