School bakkie crash - driver pleads not guilty

2016-05-25 06:00

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THE driver of the bakkie that crashed and killed eight children last year has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of culpable homicide.

The 32-year-old Lungile Princess Mthimkulu made another brief appearance in the regional court on Friday­, dressed in a red skirt and red jersey.

She pleaded not guilty to eight counts of culpable homicide, as well as to the alternative charge of reckless and negligent driving, or driving without consideration for other road users.

Mthimkulu was allegedly transporting over 20 Fezokhule­ Primary School pupils - aged seven to 11 - on 29 January, 2015 when her bakkie crashed into a house in Imbali, killing eight children - 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).

Mthimkulu admitted on Friday to driving the bakkie­ at the time of the accident, but denied responsibility for the accident due to “unforeseen mechanical failure of the braking system”.

Advocate Shane Matthews, leading the defence for Mthimkulu, asked for the matter to be adjourned as they had hired a private investigator.

The case was then adjourned to 13 July.

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