Imbali horror crash trial postponed

2015-12-03 06:00

LUNGILE Princess Mthimkulu (32) appeared briefly in the regional court this week charged with culpable homicide in connection with the deaths of eight primary­ school children in Imbali in an accident on 28 January.

It was Mthimkulu’s second court appearance after being summonsed to appear in connection with the charges.

According to the state’s charge sheet, Mthimkulu faces eight counts of culpable homicide of children between the ages of seven and 11.

They are Snakhonke Mchunu (8), Owami Mahlaba (10), Sinenhlanhla Nkomo (8), Akhona Shezi (9), Sinethemba Chonco (7) Snenhlanhla Dlamini (7) Olwethu Vilakazi (9), and Nonzuzo Zuma (11).

Alternatively Mthimkulu is charged with reckless and negligent driving, or driving without consideration for road users.

She has not yet pleaded.

The case was postponed to 15 December.

The case arises from an incident when a bakkie, allegedly driven by Mthimkulu and reportedly carrying over 20 primary pupils from Fezokuhle Primary School, crashed into a house in Imbali­.

The incident happened while the children were being transported home after school. It was reported at the time that the bakkie driver lost control on a bend, and ploughed into a house, causing a wall to collapse. The children were flung off the vehicle.

In the wake of the accident KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liason Willies Mchunu bemoaned the loss of lives in the media, and said overloaded bakkies were a recipe for disaster.
He said repeated calls are made to stakeholders to take responsibility for road safety by ensuring bakkies are used for what they are intended, and not to ferry people.

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