Described by his mother as a most beautiful person, Abdul Bassier Johnson, 32, from Hanover Park, was laid to rest according to Muslim rites on Tuesday September 6, after suffering from a head injury in a car accident three weeks ago.
About 2000 family members, colleagues, friends, and residents attended his funeral. He was buried at Mowbray cemetery.
The father of three was at his mother’s house on the day of the accident. He decided to take a drive to see his wife and children who live in Heideveld and asked his younger brother Shaheen, 24, to come with him.
While driving on Jakes Gerwel Drive, their red VW Polo was hit by a drunk driver in a Toyota Quantum taxi. The impact of the crash sent their car flying over the barrier into the oncoming lane where it hit a Caravelle van carrying five people.
Abdul Basier, who worked for Emirates Airlines, was found unconscious on the scene and was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital while Shaneen suffered dislocations to his right arm and leg and to his left ankle and hip.
Abdul Basier remained unconscious in hospital with serious head injuries and died on Monday September 5.
Shaheen has been discharged from hospital. He was able to attend his brother’s funeral but still needs more treatment.
According to Hanif Loonat, Mitchell’s Plain cluster community police forum (CPF) chairperson, the driver was arrested on the scene.
He has been charged with negligent driving and the case was postponed until Monday October 24.
Nazeema Johnson, Abdul Basier’s mother, said she was at home when a friend phoned her and told her about the accident.
“I made cauliflower food that day and Abdul said no he doesn’t feel for that he’s going to take a drive to this wife and children and see what she made. He asked his brother Shaheen to go with him. Not too long after that my friend who works at Shoprite in Lansdowne called me to say that Shaheen and his friend had been in an accident but I found it strange because I knew that Abdul Basier and Shaheen left home together. I jumped out of bed and rushed to the scene with my daughter and her husband. When I got to the scene I saw both my sons. My eldest son was unconscious and my youngest was in front of him calling for help. I felt so helpless, they gave me his (false) teeth and put him in the ambulance,” said Ms Johnson.
“I never got to speak to my son again after that day,” she said.
Mr Loonat said taxi drivers have always been a problem on the roads.
“They drive carelessly and are negligient on the roads but in most cases they drive in that way because they need to meet the demands from their bosses. The department needs to take control of these guys because innocent lives are being taken. They need to get these drivers off the road,” said Mr Loonat.
The family started a Facebook page called “In Loving Memory of Abdul Basier Johnson” where friends and family posted their condolences.
Ms Johnson said that Abdul Basier was always well-mannered, looked up to by his colleagues, family members, and friends, and had a beautiful personality. She has received messages from his colleagues and friends who sent their condolences and spoke about the kind person he was.
“All that I want people to do is make duah (pray) for him because he was a wonderful person. I just want to tell people to drive safely,” she said.
“Abdul Bassier was so blessed, so many people loved him,” she said.
Mr Loonat said Abdul Basier was a remarkable person and his death is also a loss to the community.
“The sentencing on these drunk drivers must be increased and we must start treating them like criminals. The one kills with an intention and the other doesn’t but they all take lives,” he said.