Remembering Simba Mhere

2015-12-31 20:00
Simba and Kady (Instagram)

Johannesburg – In January South Africans woke up to the shocking news that one of our much loved TV presenters had been killed in a car accident.

Simba Mhere was travelling with his friend, Kady-Shay O’Bryan when a car smashed into them on William Nicole Drive, Fourways Johannesburg. The Mhere family have been outspoken about the case, saying that police had not kept them updated and, at one point, that the accussed, Preshalin Naidoo, had requested a private meeting to ask for forgiveness. None of that ever happened.  

Instead, delay after delay marred the case, until eventually, on 29 October, he appeared in court on charges of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

It also happened to fall on the day that would have been Simba’s birthday and his friends and family attended court, calling on justice to be served.

But the trial was again postponed to December, after Naidoo said he no longer had legal representation. He was given time to find representation and the trial began in the middle of December, with it set to continue in January.

Here’s a look a tribute that was written earlier…

Dear Simba and Kady

We all have those moments in life that we'll never forget when we 'heard the news.' Today is one of those days.I was with my mom when my phone started ringing. As a journalist, you tend to get the calls pretty early on. First there are contacts passing on information and then there's your entertainment family phoning to confirm the news. They all want to know, 'is it true?' By now, after many tragedies, they know the tone of the solid 'yes.' And then a silence.From there you're in a surreal rush of getting the story done, confirming facts, briefing journalists, chatting to friends and family of those who have passed and making sure you're not missing a thing.

A few hours later, it's you, in front of your computer. Alone. Two people you know have died. Two people you liked have died. Two people you drank shooters with at that random event have died.I first met Kady-Shay O'Bryan when she was preggers with her beautiful Bayley bear. At the time, she was dating EFC fighter, Norman Wessels and she was pushy. We joked about it later, because she admitted that she was pushy. She did everything to promote her man, even going head-to-head with the, uh, more uncouth characters that surface come fight night. Kady and Norman split and then I started seeing her on the social scene with Simba Mhere.  An unusual friendship was my first thought...Simba had jumped to fame after winning the Top Billing Search in 2010. His quirky attitude, down-to-earth persona and good looks made him an entertainment favourite. He always took the time out to greet, have a conversation and give us gossip... oh, he had stories.  And jokes. "Do you know how often I get confused with Bongani from Carte Blanche," he'd say.

Together they made a formidable pair. They're funny. Just so funny. You know when you see friends who just have the best time with each other? That was Simba and Kady. At last year's Strictly Come Dancing, I asked them to have a bit of fun with me. They kept getting asked if they were a couple and so I asked if I could take some paparazzi styled pics and post it on the site.( link here ) Everybody went crazy with speculation and they had a good laugh, thanking me on social media for the press. I thanked them for playing along. Not a lot of celebs do, because, 'what would people say.'Secretly, I often wished that they would get together. There was just something between these two that seemed right.  There's a handful of people who I love stalking on Instagram. Kady was on that list. Her relationship with her daughter was remarkable and their bond melted my hardened journalist heart. Also, truth be told, her genuine, care-free friendship with Simba was something I so admired. In our industry, genuine anything is hard to come by. And these two nailed it. They were the epitome of real.Death stalks us. Death arrives unannounced. We know this. We've all experienced it.  Today is tragic. It's hard to remember the good times. But I'm going to try. For them. Kady and Simba, you were liked AND loved. We know you'll be watching us from up there.To your family and friends... your loss is our loss. May you find strength, hope and love during this dark time.

Jessica Levitt

The Juice Editor

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