The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Mr. Mxolisi Kaunda, has given the Verulam Magistrate’s Court a thumbs up after its decision to charge the truck owner of Field’s Hill horrific accident yesterday (13 July 2016).
Truck owner Gregory Govender faces four charges relating to operating an unroadworthy vehicle, failure to ensure public safety by giving maintenance responsibilities to unqualified persons as well as employing an illegal foreigner and failing to do a proper background check.
The driver of the truck, Sanele May, a Swazi national is serving eight years in jail, following a marathon trial into the accident that claimed the lives of 24 people when it crashed on four minibus taxis and a private vehicle on the 5th of September 2013.
Govender will be back in court on the 12th of August 2016 for defense to be provided with statements in the docket.
Kaunda has welcomed the magistrate’s decision.
“We welcome the magistrate court’s decision to hold the truck operator accountable. This is what we, as government, have been calling for, to ensure that we instil a sense of collective responsibility for road safety – drivers and owners alike. We believe this decision to charge the truck owner will go a long way in changing people’s mind-sets on road safety, as we move towards ensuring that more harsher sentences for road traffic infringements,” said Kaunda.
Meanwhile, Kaunda will deliver words of comfort at the mass funeral of the families who lost their loved ones during last Sunday’s bakkie accident in KwaMbotho, Harding, which resulted in the loss of 11 lives of members of the 12th Apostolic Church. The deceased included children aged five months, 2 years and 14 years.
The details of the funeral service are as follows:
Date : 16 July 2016
Venue: Gumbatana Sports Ground
Time: 10h00 am