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THE Zimbabwean motorsport family was plunged into mourning at the weekend when it lost one of the country’s seasoned motor rally navigators Dave Milner. A likeable character, Milner was involved in a road accident on Saturday afternoon when his motorbike was hit by a truck along Enterprise Road in Harare and he died on the spot. He was 54. Jamie Whyte, the two-time African motor rally champion, said yesterday that Milner was riding his motorbike at around lunch-time on Saturday when he turned in front of a truck which hit him, killing him on the spot.

Whyte described Milner as a larger-than-life character who contributed a lot to the development of motorsport in Zimbabwe, especially in motor rally in which he navigated for most of the country’s top drivers from the 1990s.

“Dave Milner was full of joy. He lived life to the fullest and we are all deeply saddened by his untimely death.

“In fact, he was my first navigator when I started motor rallying in 1990 and he navigated for me for about three years . . . He was just a good navigator who knew his notes well,” said Whyte, who won back-to-back African motor rally titles in 2009 and 2010.

Milner also navigated for two other former African motor rally champions Jess Watson and Billy Rautenbach.

Temba Mazvimbakupa of the Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation also spoke highly of Milner whom he described as a gentleman who interacted “with almost anybody”.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I announce the death of one of Zimbabwe motorsport’s larger-than-life characters, a comedian in his own right, a former motor rally navigator a true Shona speaking gentleman – David Milner aka Mhunga.

“Many still remember him when he used to navigate for guys like Hannes ‘Barefoot’ Cruger, Billy ‘Nharo’ Rautenbach and Jess Watson to name but just a few. Our sincere condolences to his wife Moira and kids . . . Famba zvakanaka Mhunga,” Mazvimbakupa said.

Meanwhile, Whyte said a private funeral service will be held for Milner in Harare this afternoon followed by his burial. Milner is a former Lord Malvern High School pupil in Harare.

Source : The Herald