South African mountain biking great Burry Stander’s mother, in part two of her exclusive interview with eHowzit sports and deputy editor Quintin van Jaarsveld, says “there are no winners” in the trial of the taxi driver who caused her son’s death.
Moments removed from judgement in the trial of Njabulo Nyawose, the taxi driver who fatally struck down the youngest of her three sons, South African mountain biking legend Burry Stander, in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court on Friday, Mandie Stander struggles to contain her emotions.
Twenty-six months after the tragedy, a painful period highlighted by the provisional withdrawal and several postponements of the case, Nyawose has been found guilty of culpable homicide.
Nyawose, who turned into the two-time Cape Epic winner’s path during his training ride in Shelly Beach on 3 January 2013, has also been found guilty of ignoring a road sign.
The guilty verdict, however, has done little to numb the Standers’ heartache.
“In this trail about Burry’s tragic death, there are no winners,” a poignant Mandie proclaims.
She, her husband Charles, who recently suffered a serious cycling accident of his own, sons Charl and Duane and the extended Stander family still carry in their hearts the hollowness caused by Burry’s death.
Judgement has brought them a step closer to closure, though, with sentencing on 27 May serving as the next vital step in that process.
Mandie insists the family have never sought vengeance on Nyawose.
“There was never a feeling of revenge, just sadness about a tragic accident that could have been avoided.”
She adds there’s no ‘ideal’ sentence in the Standers’ eyes.
“I will leave that [the castigation] totally in God’s hands.
“He will know what is best and the Stander family will accept that.”
Mandie admits the stressful situation has taken a heavy toll on the family and knows the weeks leading up to Nyawose’s sentencing will be as arduous as those they succeed.
“Charles is not well, I’m also not at my best and my children are still suffering.
“I’m just going to be the mom and try to hold everyone up in this time.”
She adds the support they’ve received from the South Coast community and cycling fraternity at large has been a welcome and much-valued source of strength.
“We as a family would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person for their support over the past 26 months.
“It is heart-warming to see how many people still care about each other.
“May God bless us all.”