Taxi tragedy driver not 'fit & proper'

2010-11-02 20:40

Cape Town - The operating licences of the taxi driver involved in the Blackheath rail crossing tragedy in August have been withdrawn, the Western Cape transport ministry said on Tuesday.

Jacob Humphreys' taxi was hit by a train after he allegedly jumped a line of waiting cars at the crossing.

Ten of the children in his taxi died, and he now faces culpable homicide charges.

The ministry said in a statement that the Provincial Operating Licensing Board held a hearing on Tuesday, and decided to withdraw the two operating licences in his name.

The board had found Humphreys guilty of violating the conditions of his licence, which allowed him to transport pupils of only certain Cape Flats schools.

"The (board) established that Mr Humphreys has consistently breached the conditions of his operating licence by transporting schoolchildren to other schools where he didn’t have the authority to do so," the ministry said.

"The (board) also withdrew the second operating licence because they are convinced that Mr Humphreys is not 'a fit and proper' person to own one."

Provincial transport minister Robin Carlisle welcomed the decision.

"Any public transport operator who blatantly disregards the conditions of operating licences and compromises the safety of his passengers and other road users does not deserve to be on our roads," he said.

"I hope that this decision will be a lesson to other operators to take their responsibility towards roads safety more seriously."