Jogger deaths: Blood test questioned

2011-11-01 14:12
Johannesburg - A blood alcohol test on a motorist who allegedly killed five joggers in Midrand was taken on time, Johannesburg metro police said on Tuesday.

"We are confident that the blood was drawn within the required two hours," Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

He was responding to a report in The Times that police officers at the scene of the crash on October 22 failed to draw blood within the required two hours.

Reports claimed that engineer Sibusiso Langa was intoxicated when he allegedly drove his Mercedes-Benz into the joggers who were training for the Soweto Marathon.

Moroese Mokoatsi, 34, Reneilwe Lesenyeho, 31, Given Mills, 30, Isaac Tlale, 37, and Nomvula Dumako, 35, were killed.

A sixth runner, Khanyiswa Stengile, was the only survivor and has undergone surgery.

The Times reported there was confusion over whose jurisdiction the matter fell under - Midrand is between Johannesburg and Pretoria - and this caused a delay.

Minnaar said Tuesday's report was due to confusion about two different case numbers assigned to the matter.

Passport confiscated

One was from the Hillbrow police station where the blood was drawn, and one from the Olievenhoutbosch police station near where the crash happened.

"We are confident that the case won't be jeopardised," he said.

Langa has appeared on five charges of murder, one of attempted murder, and one of driving under the influence in the Midrand Magistrate's Court and was released on R80 000 bail.

He is a dual United States/South African citizen and had his passport taken from him.

The National Prosecuting Authority recently began charging people with murder instead of culpable homicide if driving under the influence was suspected.

A statement by Justice Project SA, chaired by Howard Dembovsky, said jurisdiction could not be an excuse as the police had jurisdiction "over the entire nation of South Africa" and cases could be transferred between stations if necessary.

According to Arrive Alive, the law states that blood may be drawn by a registered nurse, a district surgeon, or a medical doctor. Witness statements are also admissible in court.
- SAPA
Read more on:    sibusiso langa  |  johannesburg  |  accidents
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