Reckless drivers may face murder charges

2011-10-04 22:35

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.

  • ZACommentator - 2011-10-04 22:44

    SO where is Sifiso Zulu then, he should be standing trial

      Civil_Rights - 2011-10-05 11:16

      Name and shame the bastard.

  • proudandpink - 2011-10-04 22:53

    Are you going to pick the taxi drivers out one by one or just round them all up at the nearest taxi rank?

      Yar - 2011-10-05 07:08

      They should issue hunting licenses for them. Rifles & Ammo costs should be tax deductable.

      stiffler - 2011-10-05 07:48

      ALL taxis should be removed from our roads. Its a suicide box on wheels. They have no regard for human life!

      jacques - 2011-10-05 08:01

      Proudandpink, you sound like a stuck record player - so you stop dead at stopsigns and you never exceed the speed limit? Wake up - there are more reckless motorists than taxi's on the roads. Stop being such a racist!!!

      ratex - 2011-10-05 08:05

      Sounds like a step in the right direction, BUT, this will need to be applied equally to all regardless of race, political party religion etc. So them little black cars that carry the cANCer around are also goverened by this along with taxi's along with us normal folk and especially goverment vehicles that apparently do not have to stop at intersections. So yes, please impliment the rule

      Grant - 2011-10-05 10:54

      @Jacques - if you honestly think that taxi drivers are not responsible for a HUGE number of deaths, then I'm afraid you must be severely retarded! There's a big difference between not stopping dead at a stop street, and pulling a u-turn against on-coming traffic across a highway. (Yup - that's EXACTLY how the taxi t-boned me...and proceeded to flee the scene) I suggest YOU wake up, fella!

      Werner - 2011-10-05 11:05

      Anyone watch Third Degree last night? It featured a report on the mayhem caused by taxi drivers. They showed CCTV footage of taxis blatantly disobeying the rules of the road - running red lights at high speeds and smashing into innocent road users, even one clip of a taxi being questioned by police, deciding to speed off with a police officer clinging to the front for dear life. @jacques, sorry to say, you have got to open your eyes man.

      proudandpink - 2011-10-05 11:48

      @Jacques ~ What a sad little man you are! Because the taxi drivers happen to be black, that makes me a racist???? Get a life!

  • nic - 2011-10-04 23:01

    Awesome. And what about those taxi boss thugs who force their drivers to drive with unroadworthy vehicles. Surely they should face even harsher sentences? But no... And then we have the Winnie saga. the South African constitution of double standards.

  • A1 - 2011-10-04 23:15

    Yeha, guess the next thing will be to release murderers and rapist from prison to make space for the taxi drivers.

  • Warren - 2011-10-04 23:16

    Hopefully this will also apply to parents who cause their children's death due to their kids not being buckled up, standing between the seats, or infants not secured in baby seats. You know which parents I'm talking about... those that "love" (???) their children.

      squeegeepilot - 2011-10-05 07:29

      You said it. We should all start shaming moms who let their kids stand on the front seats. Hoot until they stop and buckle them up!

      jacques - 2011-10-05 08:03

      Warren, leave them be. I have buried a child (cotdeath)and believe me, it haunts you for the rest of your life!!!

      Gary - 2011-10-05 09:12

      Amen....they should at least enforce the seatbelt rule in general and issue HUGE fines and hopefully get these parents to catch a wake up BEFORE lives are lost.

      Almaki - 2011-10-05 11:00

      Jacques, I am sorry for your loss - and your baby's death was in no way your fault. But someone who allows their child to stand on the front seat or drive in the car unrestrained should be shaken until they wake up. It's negligent and incredibly stupid to allow that. I know that toddlers don't like being belted in and will scream and shout, but I'd rather have an irate child than a dead one.

      Taboo - 2011-10-05 11:20

      Warren i agree. I see this every single day. The worst part is when you ask them why their kids arnt buckled in, they tell you to mind your own business, yet the funny thing is they are sitting in the car with their safety belt on. Stupid people - they dont deserve to be called parents.

      hannelie gerber - 2011-10-05 13:30

      Warren you deserve the noddy badge of the day! As a mother of a 12yr old I can only agree. If a parent is negligent or oblivious to their child's safety, they should be charged and dealt with as in the case of a common criminal. When the accident took his or her life they will always cry and ask why these things happen, they should take a good long hard look at themselves at that point!

  • Woofix - 2011-10-04 23:48

    And what about the traffic dept. that allow unlawfull licences issued out or giving them under the table, or dont even bothered to check up which ones has already been discontinued or using the deceased peoples drivers licences, because looking alike people on black and white photos are looking alike. . . .(please dont bother me with fingerprints, most of them is not recognisable.)

  • Mikaeel - 2011-10-04 23:51

    Ag dear minister why dont you shut up! You know what the problem is but choose to ignore it. every second day it "15 people died" here, and "10 died there". now unless every bloody car is overloaded a person can only assume its a taxi thats involved. But will you ever deal with the problem head-on? NO!!!! cause they got government by the balls and you know it! touch them and taxi drivers will just start blocking roads again, destroy peoples property or just shoot innocent bus drivers with no consequence. if anybody should be charged with murder then it should be you mr minister, for allowing these mongrels to roam the public sphere with impunity for so long!!!!!

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-05 00:47

    Well perhaps one part of the murder investigation could be whether or not they have a legally acquired/valid license. That would make tcops think twice about accepting that bribe. Make drivers retest when they go for pdp and for taxis, if a taxi has more than R5000 in per year it gets crushed.

  • bloudraak - 2011-10-05 01:41

    Its about bloody time.

  • ZAF Mike - 2011-10-05 02:40

    I agree with people being charged with manslaughter when making an accident due to intentional breaking of the road traffic act, and it leads to someone's death. BUT, there is one thing that our highly intelligent (NOT!!!!) Logan forgot or don't know. There is a difference between murder and manslaughter. It is known as intent. (Ever heard of that word???) Any defense lawyer will have no problem arguing this in a criminal court, and will most probably win the argument. Please do you homework before making such statement that makes you sound even more stupid than you already are.

      King - 2011-10-05 08:24

      Jub-Jub was rightfully charged with murder because he was fully aware that by drag-racing while on drugs he could potentially kill somebody. This is exactly the same as a taxi driver that overtakes on a blind-rise or a corner. They should be charged with murder. Enough is enough. If you do something that could potentially kill somebody, and you're fully aware of this, then you should be charged with murder if that person does indeed die. Your actions were blatantly intentional.

      Grant - 2011-10-05 11:03

      @ZAF Mike - supposing I took a gun to the streets, blindfolded myself, and started shooting randomly. I might fire six bullets and hit nothing but walls and trees. I might hit two people in the legs. Or I might hit a child in the head. Its quite obvious that if I kill someone, I couldnt have INTENTIONALLY killed them, because I couldn't even see... So would that mean I couldnt be charged with murder?? Its the same with wreckless driving. You overtake at 120km/hr in a 60 zone, around a blind-corner and into potential on-coming traffic... Whilst you might not KNOW that you are going to kill someone, you DO know that you are putting other people's lives at risk (same as shooting blindfolded). A mistake (like reacting too late to a car stopped in front of you) is very different to a deliberate act (like jumping the pavement to get around the cars in front of you stopped at a traffic light, and then proceeding to jump the light).

      TheRat - 2011-10-05 20:59

      In ZA we differentiate between murder, which is intentional and culpable homicide, which is through negligence. Our law doesn't refer to it as manslaughter, that's an Americanism. Regardless of what our minister may say, murder is going to be hard to pin on a reckless driver because it implied that the death was intentional, so culpable homicide will be a more likely charge. Both crimes are schedule one offences.

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-05 04:13

    @ zaf mike if a taxi driver piles 24 people into a van meant for 12 theres intent to break the law and if you kill someone while breaking the law its murder. If you fire a gun at someone thinking it's not loaded are you gonna be charged with murder or manslaughter?

      Warslat - 2011-10-05 07:16

      Intent to break the law isn't enough, it's intent to kill. Your question about an unloaded gun...answer is manslaughter. A taxi driver who overloads a vehicle should also be guilty of manslaughter, he never intended to kill the occupants. I don't have a soft spot for taxis but the law should be sensible. Killing someone accidentally while breaking the law is just way too open. Imagine you accidentally run over someone and your tail-light is faulty, would that make you a murderer? (Technically you shouldn't be driving a car in public with a faulty light...if you were obeying the law you wouldn't be there to run that person over) Manslaughter should be regarded as serious but it's not premeditated.

      King - 2011-10-05 08:53

      @Warslat A few months ago a taxi driver made a u-turn on the N3, a national freeway, and a number of his passengers were killed. That man should be charged with murder. He knew that the manouvre is both dangerous and unlawful, and by doing it he intentionally put his passengers at risk. He should be charged with murder.

      Olavin - 2011-10-05 12:53

      It can also be culpable homicide when someone does something reckless and unlawful that results in another person's death. With murder, unlike manslaughter or culpable homicide, people can be charged with attempted murder. So if you really want to open the can of worms that breaking the law or reckless driving resulting in a person's death is murder, then you'd better be okay with them charging people who break the law with no results of death with attempted murder for driving over the speed limit, or changing lanes without indicating, taking a bend to sharp, or maybe even getting in an accident where there are only injuries.

      Warslat - 2011-10-06 00:26

      @King That's just too ridiculous. Someone who does a U-turn which leads to a fatal accident is not murder. Were his actions responsible for the deaths of people, yes...did he do it intentionally, NO...manslaughter again. Look up the definition of "murder" if that helps, no wait...let me do it for you Murder - the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another Note the word "premeditated" Manslaughter - the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought. Hope that helps

      Warslat - 2011-10-06 00:29

      @ Olavin, nice angle, I agree 100%

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-05 04:15

    Similarly if you drive on the wrong side of the road thinking nothing will happen and kill someone's family what then? Ingorance is not an excuse.

  • so mouse - 2011-10-05 05:27

    Most sensible idee ever from the ruling party since 94. Start with trucks and taxi's. And then be harse on the speeding in resedential areas. Stop fines, lock them up to appear the next day in court. Must not become petty, but we've got no law on our roads, cause we got no decent traffic officers. Stop giving them fine targets to reach, let them start enforcing the law. If they can't, like the majority, send them back to school.

  • Charlie the man - 2011-10-05 06:16

    Then Winnie should be in jail yet the cops who arrested her must now apologise. This should apply to everyone then taxi drivers politicians etc (Double Standards)....... WHAT A JOKE, but no it will only apply to the law abiding citizens not to the untouchables.

  • Bartosz - 2011-10-05 06:19

    "...leave no stone unturned..." Oh how I love that saying!

  • Kate - 2011-10-05 06:19

    It starts at the top. Ndumiso Jaca is a great example to the rest of the motorists. False plates, no seat belt and speaking on the phone while driving. What is this then? Lock the up.

  • noitall - 2011-10-05 06:23

    Beware "death bus operators" you have 14 days to have your license disc replaced. You have been warned. WTF now they are really scared and will definitely sort out their buses after this tough action

  • Deeteem - 2011-10-05 06:36

    So how many taxi's were checked then ?

  • kiwi - 2011-10-05 06:37

    reckless gov. should face murder charges

  • Jackia - 2011-10-05 06:59

    These corrupt traffic officials who sell driver licenses to all these incompetent drivers should also face murder charges

  • MariĆ© Jansen - 2011-10-05 07:20

    Yet whe n a motorist was found guilty for deliberately driving into cyclists killing one of them he got away with a R5000 fine. If this law is to be effective it should apply in ALL circumstances.

  • Yip - 2011-10-05 07:38

    Didn't Winny's driver drive dangerous and reckless?

      Kenno - 2011-10-05 13:52

      Winnie is above the law!

  • fireman - 2011-10-05 07:40

    Well Mr Minister, any possibility of some sensible action like getting our venerable traffic cops of their fat idle butts behind the speed camera and start to get in and amongst the traffic and start to enforce rules of the road. Possibly have a look at how other countries enforce traffic rules and then compare the death rate to our own....See told you so, traffic enforcement does reduce the death rate....reducing the speed limit is because someone has a mate who makes traffic signs and stands to make a few Rands on new signs.

  • Phumlani Blose - 2011-10-05 07:41

    What does a professional driving permit do? Does it mean that a person can't drive, or the permit could prevent road craches? To me with or without a PrDP the accident would still happen. It depends on the indivisual driver to be extra careful in the road.

  • McDaNife - 2011-10-05 07:57

    At the end there will be very few taxi drivers left coz they are the ones who are causing these carnages on our roads. Get a posse to hunt them down.

  • jacques - 2011-10-05 07:58

    I agree, but almost every person skipping a red light or stopstreet should then stand trial. How the hell will he impose this? WE NEED MORE OFFICIALS APPLYING THE LAWS ON THE ROADS!!!

  • Banana_Republic - 2011-10-05 08:13

    Ha Ha Ha Ha, you make me laugh Logan!!!! In a nation where we have a multitude of laws which are not enforced; where cabinet ministers continue to cover up corrupt practices; where the former chief of police has been found guilty of a crime yet continues to walk the streets a year later; where connected cadres are considered to be above the law. You really think that the nation will be quivering in their collective boots at your latest threat? How about enforcing the existing traffic laws fully, maybe then we will start believing you.

  • ivan.heera - 2011-10-05 08:46

    It takes a lot of "effort" for our transport dept. to realize that our public transport has deteriorated to "suicide on wheels". Now let's see how ridiculously our "experts in govt" try to resolve this.

  • dwnwitjuju - 2011-10-05 08:54

    Murder? Vehicular Homicide maybe, but Murder? we go again, let's rewrite the law, which will never be enforced equally across the society.

  • Southern - 2011-10-05 11:03

    This demand is typical for a government not in control. Bragging about harsh sentences and silence about the real problem. The killing of people should be stopped before it happens. Then you do not have to charge people for murder. That should be the aim. The murder charge is nonsense anyway, but if you get at the culprits and their bosses and businesses that run unroadworthy vehicles and punish them anything you will be much more successful in reducing the death toll on our roads. Any fine that will actually be paid will do. Waiting for the next announcement from the transport department. Maybe no driving after sunset as many cars have no lights?

  • Michal Mierzwa - 2011-10-05 11:16

    "may face murder charges" WTF. I thought it was already like that? Whats the follow up of the Jub Jub Trial????

  • Badballie - 2011-10-05 11:26

    Agree wholeheartedly, This in fact should have been routine procedure with any investigated road incident anyway. The only problem is who will enforce it? the police do not have the respect or confidence of the public. The rule of law is suspended until we get the corrupt ANC and Police force out of power.

  • jacques - 2011-10-05 11:41

    @Grant, no need to be rude, my boy. Your situation is indeed sad to hear of, but i have been t-boned by someone who didn't stop at a stopstreet and just last week a friends two black workers were driven straight into intesive care by a "white woman" in an SUV who also thought that a red robot meant "give it carrots" - you should wake up - looks like you've been driving for only two weeks?

  • MyWereld - 2011-10-06 03:43

    To be guilty of murder, the State must prove INTENT. Negligence is not enough, unless you want to change over to English law of torts. Then simply make a law declaring any death caused by a reckless or negligent driver, equates to murder. End of story.

  • Mmula Sekete - 2011-10-06 16:24

    taxi owners should be adviced to pay their drivers enough salary and this will in future reduce their high speed,someone may ask how is it salary reduce the speed,the reasons why taxi drivers are always in hurry is to check enough money which is much than what the owner is expecting so that they can also have small nyana in their pocket forgeting that they risking with our families,i think SBU should also plan thoroughly to install cameras on every highways which are going to notify monthly reporting who was violating the law due to after finding those violaters they should suspend them with their cars for long period and the suspension will also reduce congestion coz their cars cant move to public road without the driver.....

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