R5000 bail for truck driver in Collins Chabane crash

2015-03-31 11:23

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The culpable homicide suspect in the accident that claimed the life of Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane has been granted bail.

Family members of the late minister left the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court rather disappointed this morning after 30-year-old Amukelani Rikhotso was granted R5000 bail.

Chabane’s nephew, Mosa Chabane, said his family did not welcome the bail but added they remained “steadfast to processes of the court”.

“We’ll allow justice to take place. We have confidence in the justice system and we will allow it to proceed,” he said.

The state said this morning it did not have any reasons to oppose Rikhotso’s bail.

Truck driver Rikhotso allegedly made an illegal U-turn on the N1 between Polokwane and Mokopane when Chabane’s VW Touareg crashed into it just over two weeks ago.

Chabane perished in the accident together with his two bodyguards, Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane.

Rikhotso was arrested and charged with three counts of culpable homicide and one of drink driving after suspicions that he was under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

It was also reported after the accident that he was facing two pending cases of assault and one of drink driving.

However, the investigating officer, Colonel Willys Maaboyi, told the court today there were no pending cases against Rikhotso.

Maaboyi said the drink driving case in Ivory Park, Gauteng, was never on the court’s roll.

In agreeing that Rikhotso be granted bail, Maaboyi said he did not see him as a flight risk.

It was also previously reported that Rikhotso’s driver’s licence and the truck’s licence disc were expired but this was not brought up in court today.

Clad in a light-blue hooded top, Rikhotso kept calm as he sat in the accused box listening to his quest for freedom being discussed.

Before suggesting that his bail be set at R5000, state prosecutor Jackson Mabasa told the court there was no need for Rikhotso’s bail application affidavit to be read out in court.

In the end, Magistrate Mohammed Shaik agreed and granted Rikhotso R5000 bail before postponing his case to May 15.

Mosa Chabane said being in court and seeing the man accused of causing their loved one’s death was not an easy task for the Chabane family.

“Family members here today recollect the space they were in last week (when they mourned and buried Chabane) and the person they are here for. It’s not only the Chabane family that is still grieving but that of Sekele and Lentsoane as well and we’re here as three families with confidence in the justice system,” he said.

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