Pinetown truck driver pleads guilty

2014-11-28 12:25

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A Swazi national, Sanele Goodness May, whose truck ploughed into four vehicles at a busy Durban intersection last year, killing 24 people, pleaded guilty to 31 charges in the Durban High Court.

The charges were read out to him in isiZulu today, and through an interpreter, he pleaded guilty before Judge Kate Pillay.

May pleaded guilty to 24 counts of culpable homicide, two charges of fraud, one charge of entering South Africa illegally, two charges of being in possession of fake driver’s licences, one charge of operating a vehicle without a valid professional driving permit, and one charge of failing to comply with a road traffic sign.

On the evening of September 5 last year, in rush-hour traffic, May’s truck smashed into four minibus taxis and two cars at an intersection at the bottom of Fields Hill in Pinetown.

Twenty-two people died at the scene. Two died later in hospital.

May has been in custody ever since. He was previously denied bail by the Pinetown Magistrates’ Court.

Initially, he was charged with 24 counts of murder, but this was changed to 24 culpable homicide charges.

May kept his head down as press photographers tried to take pictures of him before he entered the dock.

On entering the dock a small group of supporters waved to him.

The plea was part of a plea and sentencing agreement.

Pillay was expected to sentence May after the plea agreement had been read into the record by May’s advocate, Louis Barnard.

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