Reckless drivers may face murder charges
Johannesburg - Deaths resulting from reckless driving should be regarded as murder, transport spokesperson Logan Maistry said on Tuesday.
"We are... engaging with the police and [the] directorate of public prosecutions to ensure that in cases where drivers intentionally violate road traffic rules... resulting in death, those drivers should be charged with murder," he said.
Maistry said Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele had launched an investigation into a bus crash in Harrismith that left five school children - aged between nine and 14 - and four teachers dead on Monday.
"[Ndebele] has instructed officials to leave no stone unturned in their investigation following allegations that the [truck driver] was not in possession of a professional driving permit... ," Maistry said.
The department had deployed traffic officers to depots in Gauteng belonging to the operators of the school bus which was involved in the crash.
At the Eldo Coaches depot, five buses, one tow truck and one light delivery vehicle were discontinued because they were defective.
At the Slabbert Burger transport depot, five vehicles were found to be unroadworthy.
These vehicles would have to be tested within 14 days to have their licence discs replaced and be returned to service, Maistry said.
More than 1 500 unroadworthy buses and taxis were taken off the roads during September in accordance with Ndebele's instruction at the end of August that all public transport vehicles be inspected.