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Cyclist shot dead in South Africa in suspected road rage incident

Police say driver shot 33-year-old French expat three times in the back

A cyclist has been shot dead in South Africa in what police are treating as a case of road rage. The victim was a 33-year-old-French expatriate and father of three.

A cyclist has been shot dead in South Africa in what police are treating as a case of road rage. The victim was a 33-year-old-French expatriate and father of three.

According to a report on the website of South Africa’s Independent newspaper, the incident took place near Umgababa in KwaZulu Natal at 4.30pm on Saturday 30 October.

Police say that they believe that there had been a disagreement between the victim, Lionel Pautrel, who was shot in the back, and the motorist, who has not been traced.

A police spokesman said: “Three shots were heard and a motor vehicle was seen speeding off towards Amanzimtoti. The man died on the scene.”

Mr Pautrel, who worked as an engineer, moved to South Africa in 2005 with his wife Makhosi after falling in love with the country.

“We did everything together, we were planning so much for the future… and now I am left with the children and, at same time, I have to grieve and arrange for his body to be flown to France. All this is just too much for me,” she told the newspaper.

With Mr Pautrel’s body being repatriated to France for burial, a separate memorial service was held in South Africa.

Mrs Pautrel said: “I am so sad that my children are not able to go [to France] with me because of finances and delays in obtaining the necessary travel documents.

“But I arranged for a memorial service with friends and family so that we can say our goodbyes to him,” she added.

She also asked for anyone with information that might help trace her husband’s killer to contact the police.
 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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