Limpopo soccer crash driver appears

2012-11-29 19:23

Johannesburg - A motorist whose bakkie hit a taxi, killing four soccer players, appeared in the Mankweng Magistrate's Court on Thursday, Limpopo police said.

Constable Moses Molepo said Mahlodi James Machete, 36, would appear in court again on 11 January.

Machete had three other pending cases of assault against him and a warrant for his arrest had been issued in Katlehong.

"The defence lawyer decided to abandon the bail [application] after realising that the State has a watertight case against the suspect," Molepo said.

Machete faces four charges of murder, one of drunken driving, and one of giving police wrong information.

At the time of his arrest, he allegedly gave the police a false name, calling himself Sammy Maepa.

On 11 November, four soccer players died when Machete's bakkie hit the side of their minibus taxi on the R71, near Polokwane.

The taxi landed on its side, in the path of oncoming traffic, and was hit by a bus carrying Zion Christian Church members.

The players were members of the Polokwane City football club and had been travelling from the Oscar Mphetha stadium, where they had played a National First Division match against FC AK.

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