N12 pileup: Truck driver's lawyers withdraw

2014-10-16 18:26
(Photo: Netcare 911)

(Photo: Netcare 911)

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Johannesburg - Lawyers for the driver of the truck that ploughed into almost 50 cars on the N12 East near Alberton, killing four people, withdrew from the case on Thursday.

Gerhard Louw and Deon van Staden told the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court they were unsure whether they would continue representing him after Thursday's appearance.

"We have not received instructions to proceed," Louw told the court.

With his jacket over his head, the 44-year-old accused, who faces four culpable homicide charges and one reckless and negligent driving charge, told the court he would appoint his own lawyers for his bail application.

Louw and Van Staden then immediately withdrew from the case.

Asked whether he would apply for legal aid or bring in his own lawyer, the accused said he was unsure.

"It is difficult to make a decision now because I was under the impression that I already had lawyers," he said.

Arrested in Potchefstroom

Earlier, the court heard the accused was previously convicted of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

Prosecutor John Ntuli said the State still needed to establish whether his licence was revoked following the reckless and negligent driving case.

It was believed the man was handed a jail term for both offences.

Due to the fact that the man was a previous offender, the State called for him to face a schedule five offence.

The court also heard that the accused was not found at the scene of the accident after Tuesday's crash.

"He was arrested in Potchefstroom," said Ntuli.

The arrest happened on Wednesday.

Ntuli said the State needed to establish whether he had fled the scene.

He also told the court that Thursday's appearance was scheduled as a first appearance and not a bail application and called for his bail application to not be heard.

Four people were killed when the truck allegedly driven by him ploughed into early morning traffic on Tuesday.

At least 16 people were injured in the accident.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  accidents

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