Imbali crash - driver charged with culpable homicide

2015-10-01 06:00

SEVEN months after the Imbali crash that killed eight Fezokuhle Primary pupils, the driver of the bakkie has received a court summons.

On 28 January a bakkie transporting more than 25 children crashed through the wall of a home and into a house, totally destroying the building and killing six children instantly, with two children later dying­ in hospital.

Emergency services at the crash scene at the time said they suspected the accident had been caused by brake failure. However, after seven months of ongoing investigations, it is believed that the brakes were damaged during the impact of the crash, and that this was not the cause of the accident.

The bakkie driver, who was injured in the crash, disappeared from the public eye after she was released from hospital a few weeks after the accident.

Families of the children in the crash said they were deeply upset that the driver had made no effort to contact them and said they wanted an explanation or apology from her.

Several attempts to contact the driver proved unsuccessful and visits to her house were fruitless. After several hiccups in the investigation, such as the four-month delay in four post-mortem reports, Plessislaer SAPS spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said the driver has been charged with eight counts of culpable homicide and alternatively charged with negligent driving.

Mother of two of the children who were injured in the crash, Philisile Njoko, said she was “very happy” to hear of the court summons. “My children have not completely recovered from the crash. It was a very traumatic experience and they are still experiencing problems from injuries caused by the crash all these months later.

“My son was recently re-admitted to hospital and operated on for one of the injuries he received in the crash, and my daughter still gets severe headaches.”

She said she wanted justice for her children and all the other families who had children involved in the accident

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