This was revealed in the Port Shepstone Magistrate Court during sentencing proceedings against the driver, Njabulo Nyawose.
Testifying in mitigation, Nyawose’s former employer Sibonelo Ndaba told the court he had offered the driver a supervisory position in his taxi business.
“He is a hardworking and reliable driver and I have just informed him that I would be offering him a supervisor position where his main job would be collecting cash from the other drivers,” he said.
Ndaba, who told the court that Nyawose had worked for him from 2011 until shortly after the accident, said he had never received any complaints about the driver from the metro police or members of the public.
“Instead, all the reports I received about him were positive – people were commending him for his reliability and high level of professionalism,” he said.
Stander, 25, died on January 3, 2013 when he was struck by Nyawose’s taxi while cycling in Shelley Beach on the South Coast
He was fifth in the men’s cross-country race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Four years earlier, at the Beijing Games, he finished 15th in the cross-country event.
Earlier, correctional services department official Skhumbuzo Dladla told the court correctional supervision could be an appropriate sentence for Nyawose.
“My view is that he is a suitable candidate for correctional supervision as he is capable of reforming,” Dladla said.
Dladla, who said he had visited Nyawose at home on several occasions since the commission of the offence, told the court the department had a number of programmes to assist Nyawose.
Social worker, Thulisile Mkhungo, testified her support of Dladla’s view that a correctional supervision could be an appropriate sentence.
“He was emotionally distressed after the accident and at one point considered taking his own life because of the publicity around the case,” she said.
Direct imprisonment, Mkhungo said, would have a negative impact on Nyawose’s three children, who depended on him for financial support.
Stander’s mother, Mandie, told the court Nyawose’s recklessness had cost the family a talented son and brother.
“I’m not the same mom and granny anymore – this whole thing has been a living nightmare. I was looking forward to him supporting me financially one day,” she said in a statement read out in court.
She denied that Nyawose had shown any remorse. The matter was adjourned to July 1.