Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 154 November 2022 | Page 66

Having worked for various radio and TV shows , Mac is best known for his work on Carte Blanche

A Promise to


In March , Carte Blanch TV anchor Macfarlane Moleli will line up for his first full Ironman triathlon at the Ironman African Champs in Nelson Mandela Bay , as part of a greater campaign that seeks to both create a safer environment for cyclists , whilst also encouraging responsible behaviour by both cyclists and drivers . While he does have a rich sporting background , Mac has never done triathlons before , and the reason he is willing to tackle the daunting prospect of a 3.8km swim , 180km cycle and 42.2km run is because of a promise he made to a good friend . – BY SEAN FALCONER

Saturday 29 January is a date that Carte Blanch3 TV anchor Macfarlane Moleli will never forget , and it was one that has changed him forever . It started when he drove to Lanseria Airport , on the outskirts of western Johannesburg , to drop off a friend that was catching a flight , and along the way , they drove past an accident scene on the R512 highway . Little did he know just how much that accident was going to affect him .

“ As I was driving , I looked towards my right and saw a mangled Porsche on the side of the road . Then I saw a couple of bicycles lying on the ground , and I saw a lady holding a cyclist , cradling him like a baby , and I thought , shit , there ’ s been a terrible accident , and it looks like a bike has been hit ,” recalls Mac . “ I don ’ t know whether it was one body or two bodies that I saw , but I was totally freaked out , because I also cycle in the Cradle of Humankind , on those same roads . As I drove , I thought , that could have been me .”
Incredible Coincidence
Two weeks later , Mac received a message from a friend that he knows through a WhatsApp group dealing with policing and security issues , which he belongs to as part of his work as an investigative journalist . “ He said , Mac , please can you try and help ? There was a terrible accident that happened in the Cradle of Humankind and the guy died , but it looks like the driver is trying to cook the system . He ’ s trying to get away with it , and the police might be involved , so please , please do something , because the guy was drunk . And I ’ m like , when did this happen ? Two weeks ago , he says , and I replied I drove past that accident , I was actually there ! So I said , listen , whatever you need , let me know , I ’ m in , because I also cycle in the Cradle , and that could have been me .”
Mac was just starting to look into the incident , when the next coincidence in this tragic story hit home barely a week later . “ I was on Facebook and saw a
post by a long-time friend and colleague , Sharon Piehl . She has a PR company called Fleishman- Hillard , and we ’ ve been working together for the past 15 to 20 years . Her post said , ‘ My dear Andre , gone too soon , taken away from us so brutally .’ I looked at that post , and started putting two and two together , and suddenly thought , oh , shit ,” says Mac .
“ I phoned her , and said , Shaza , I saw your post on Facebook . I ’ m so sorry for your loss , and I hope it ’ s not true , but I drove past an accident about two weeks ago in the Cradle of Humankind ... Was that Andre ? She said yes , it was him , and that it had been her sitting there , cradling her husband !”
Tragic Accident
Mac then found out that two cyclists had been hit that day , Andre Piehl and Je ’ an Francois Du Preez , while riding in the emergency lane along the R512 . The accident was so horrific that paramedics said Andre
TV presenter Mac Moleli is taking the big plunge next March when he tackles his first full Ironman
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