Gouda crash: MEC seeks murder charges
Cape Town - Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle wants murder charges brought against the owner of a tractor involved in an accident which killed eight people near Gouda on Monday morning.
The Caterpillar 631D earth moving tractor, which is often used for road-building, was on the Klein Berg River Bridge at the time of the crash, in which 22 people were injured.
"It appears that two trucks were approaching the bridge, Carlisle said.
The first, on seeing the massive earth moving vehicle on the bridge, was able to brake in time, but the second truck had less time to react.
While swerving to avoid the truck in front of it, it hit the stationary vehicle and then hit the tractor at which point the bed was ripped off and flung into the river.
Carlisle said both trucks were legally compliant. However, the tractor was illegal.
"I am further informed that the owner of this giant tractor then fled the scene, leaving the driver to talk to the police," he said.
"The tractor is unlicensed, unregistered and, these requirements notwithstanding, it should not have been on the road without an Abnormal Load permit and escort vehicles."
Carlisle said he would carefully follow developments around the case as it appeared to be a classic case of "wilful negligence" on the part of a vehicle owner and "possibly the driver".
"The National Prosecuting Authority would be well within their rights to explore murder charges in this case under the dolus eventualis principle," he said.
"It will also be instructive to establish what the role of speed and following distance, two major killers on our roads, were in this case."