Media portrays Humphreys as monster

2012-02-20 14:45
Video

Blackheath driver to be sentenced

2012-02-20 14:36

The minibus taxi driver who was found guilty of murdering 10 children in Blackheath will be sentenced on Thursday. Family members felt Humphreys hasn’t shown remorse for what he did.WATCH

Cape Town - The media has played a large part in portraying a negative image of taxi driver Jacob Humphreys, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

"He has been labelled as 'jakkals' [jackal] and as a child murderer," criminologist Claire Wolff said while reading out the pre-sentencing report in mitigation of sentence.

"Most people receive information about such events from the media, thus the media has a unique ability to direct and persuade public opinion," she said.

It was the belief of Humphreys' family that most negative feelings came from further afield than his community.

Humphreys, who had his R20 000 bail reinstated last year, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

He was taking the children to school on August 25 2010 when he stopped at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath, overtook a row of cars, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks.

A train hit the taxi and 10 of the children were killed. Four children were seriously injured.

Wolff said that after conducting interviews with his family and friends, she believed he was an upstanding community member.

Humphreys was a ward leader for the Roman Catholic Church and held regular prayer meetings and bible studies.

He was a respected member of the community and in one instance, Humphreys had offered his support to a neighbour whose child had died, and in another he supported the family of a young girl who was raped.

"I found that he has made a substantial contribution to society and this plays an important role in his life," Wolff said.
Read more on:    jacob humphreys  |  cape town  |  media  |  schoolbus tragedy

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
50 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.