Dept appeals drunk driving sentence

2011-05-12 21:50
Johannesburg - An appeal will be lodged against a suspended five-year prison sentence imposed on Durban resident Nicolette Goss, who ploughed into a group of children because of drunk driving, the transport department said on Wednesday.

"We are of the view that the sentence imposed on Ms Nicolette Goss is not commensurate with her conduct and must be reviewed.

"We have therefore instructed our legal team to engage the National Prosecuting Authority on this sentence and to also bring the matter to the attention of the minister of justice," the department said,

Transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele instructed his legal team to lodge the appeal.

In 2006, Goss, 35, was drinking when she hit a concrete block and rammed into a group of children crossing the road to Charles Hugo Primary School in Randles Road, Sydenham.

Thabani Mngadi, 12, was killed in the crash. Mhlengi Ngobese and twins, Phumelela and Nomnotho Kweyama, 11, were injured.

Goss was found guilty of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

She was also sentenced on Wednesday to three years house arrest and has to perform 16 hours of community service for each month of the three years.

Her driving licence was suspended for six months.

"Drunk driving is a major contributory factor to road crashes and road deaths in South Africa. It is for this reason that the department... is considering a total ban on alcohol use for drivers," Ndebele said.

He pleaded with all South Africans to "take personally the fight against road deaths" and implored everyone to work together to bring down road deaths in the country.

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