Field’s Hill crash driver lied and is a flight risk, says state

2013-10-17 00:00

FIELD’S Hill truck driver Sanele May was deceitful and a flight risk and should not be granted bail, the state said yesterday.

May (23), who is facing 24 charges of murder, appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court for his bail application — he has been in custody for six weeks.

Magistrate Wendolyn Robinson reserved judgment and the matter was adjourned to October 22.

Warrant Officer Detective Sanjeev Singh said the accused’s failure to act caused 24 fatalities and 27 moderate injuries. (Another person has recently died in hospital.)

He argued that due to the seriousness and the sensitivity of the case, the director of public prosecution amended the charge from culpable homicide to murder.

Singh told the courts that he had travelled to Swaziland to conduct further investigation and discovered that May was in South Africa illegally and had no work permit.

According to the investigating officer, the Swaziland records showed that the last time May left the country for SA was on October 24, 2012 on a holiday permit. He is recorded as returning the same day.

It was heard that May’s public driver’s permit and traffic register number certificate were fraudulent.

May was also facing traffic charges brought by Durban Metro in August while working for another company. Singh said May failed to produced a public driver’s permit (PDP), the vehicle had no licence disk, the vehicle was unlicensed and headlights and an indicator were defective.

The detective said May had been deceitful and has no respect for authority.

“He misled the Kingdom of Swaziland to believe that he’s still in their country when he wasn’t. He also misled the SA government by working here knowing he’s prohibited from doing so. He’s therefore unlikely to comply with the magistrate of SA and there is a huge risk he may flee,” Singh added.

“Twenty-four people have been lost in one shot,” he reminded the court.

However, May’s defence advocate, Louis Barnard, instructed by Professor Mdletshe, argued that there is currently an extradiction agreement between the SA and Swaziland governments.

He said the Swaziland authorities would ensure May returned for the trial and the court could also issue an order for May to report at Nhlangano police station in his hometown.

Barnard said there was “nothing sinister about his effort” to deceive authorities because he was desperate for a job to take care of his brother and himself.

The court heard that May’s fake PDP and traffic register number certificate were issued through the help of an agent who is now deceased and May was not aware that they were fake.

Barnard said he has an affidavit from the Swaziland embassy signed by the commissioner that will ensure that May will stand trial.

May will honour any bail conditions and will not interfere with the witnesses, his defence said.

“He has nothing to run away from. It was an accident.”

The accused was once again flanked by his supporters who flooded the court room.

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