NPA: Treat reckless drivers aggressively

2012-02-29 13:33

Cape Town - An "aggressive approach" of charging irresponsible drivers with murder instead of culpable homicide was paying off, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the approach was yielding the desired result of heavier sentences and he believed it was sustainable.

The NPA welcomed the 20-year jail term handed down to taxi driver Jacob Humphreys in the Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Humphreys was convicted of murder following an accident on August 25, 2010 at the Buttskop level crossing in Cape Town.

While taking children to school, he overtook a row of cars, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks.

A train hit the taxi, killing 10 of the children. Four others were seriously injured.

The NPA said it was happy it had brought justice to the family and friends of those involved in the crash.

It welcomed Judge Robert Henney's dismissal of an application for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence.

"Throughout the case we have argued that there is only one sentence justifiable for this type of crime and that was direct imprisonment," Ntabazalila said.

"We have argued that he was running away from taking responsibility and there was a serious lack of remorse on his side."

The NPA emphasised that not all drivers involved in car accidents would be charged with murder.

"Each case will be judged on its own merits."

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