tbabcart0The lives of two people were thrown into disarray on Saturday when a pregnant mare smashed – cart and all – into a vehicle on Steenhoven Street in Bothasig.
Nika, the six-year-old pregnant carthorse, died on the scene.
The owner of a Golf Chico, Phillip Smit (36), was driving past the Bothasig police station when he suddenly saw a “flash of brown” from the left and then he was showered in a “white explosion of powdered glass”.
His car lifted onto two wheels and then it fell back to earth with a sickening thud.
Just a few seconds earlier, 18-year-old Jade Nahoff and two other carthorse occupants stopped in Swellengrebbel Road to apparently give some water to Nika.
A homeowner let them use her garden hose to fill a bucket with water, but the hose frightened Nika and she bolted down the road towards Steenhoven Street.
According to Cart Horse Protection Association (CHPA) inspector Diana Truter, another carthorse owner saw this incident and rushed to the corner of the road to warn the oncoming car that something is amiss, but to no avail – the speeding Nika ran right into the side of Smit’s Golf.
Now his uninsured vehicle, which was his only means of transport, has been written off.
Nahoff also lost his hope of having a little colt or foal, as well as his beloved Nika.
Both he and Smit are devastated and angry that it all had to come to this.
Truter, who was on the scene just minutes after it happened at 14:00 on Saturday, elaborates: “Jade has been working at CHPA during his holidays for years. Last year he won Most Improved Carthorse Owner at our annual awards. He has to care for his parents, sister and other friends of the family and carthorsing is his only income. He also goes to school and he is determined to succeed.”
The CHPA regulates the carthorse industry in the Cape Flats and surrounds.
Truter has also, in her private capacity, been helping to pay Nahoff’s school fees.
Truter continues: “Jade also own a horse named Silver, but he was about to put this one up for adoption, because Silver was getting to the age where he tired quickly.”
When the CHPA heard Nika was pregnant they suggested to Nahoff that he halted the adoption process until Nika gave birth.
When she got a phone call informing her of the accident in Bothasig she immediately rushed to the scene.
When she got there, there were many more carthorse owners and tempers were seething.
Smit explains: “Once I parked what was left of my car on the sidewalk I was obviously very angry! When I looked at the horse I felt sorry, but that’s probably a R2 000 horse… My car is worth R60 000. I was standing there when three young children ran towards me. One of them was wielding a knife!”
According to Smit a policewoman strolled “with no care in the world” from the police station and saw the boys threaten him with a knife, but later she denied seeing anything.
“In just five minutes chaos consumed the scene,” adds Smit.
He adds that he has never approved of the carthorses on the roads.
“I understand that people are trying to make money with their carthorses, but there should be stricter regulations. Why are they allowed to be on the roads at all times? Also, why do some drivers look so young? Are they allowed to drive these carts?” he asks, before adding that Bothasig has been a target for “thieves who use carthorses”.
Truter denies claims by Smit that Nahoff’s carthorse wasn’t licensed. She also explains that there are rigorous procedures to prepare carthorse owners for the roads.
“We have a rule that when a carthorse driver stops and leaves the cart for whatever reason, one person must at all times stand in front of the horse to prevent something like this from happening.”