Argus hit-and-run driver gets off lightly

2011-07-28 22:14

Cape Town - A motorist who swerved his bakkie into a group of cyclists practising for a cycle tour, killing one of them, was given a suspended jail sentence by the Wynberg Regional Court on Thursday.

Andries Zuiderma, 39, was sentenced to five years suspended for five years on a charge of culpable homicide (manslaughter).

He was also sentenced to three years house arrest.

Zuiderma was also fined R5 000 or nine months in jail for failing to stop after the crash in March 2006.

At the request of defence attorney William Booth, he was allowed to pay the fine off in monthly instalments of R1 000.

Magistrate Karel Meyer who suspended Zuiderma's driver's licence for nine months at the request of prosecutor Bantu Nyembezi.

Cyclist Jan-Hendrik Olivier, 39, of Johannesburg, who was in the Cape with his wife and family for the Cape Argus cycle tour, died in the crash.

Meyer said there was a national campaign to make motorists aware of cyclists on the road.

He said there was also an outcry against motorists who did not care about other road users, including cyclists.

Meyer said even if he had jailed Zuiderma, as the Olivier family had wanted, it would not bring Olivier back to life.

"You killed a husband and a father of a family in a hit and run incident that must have been most traumatic for those who survived. The death will be on the minds of the family for the rest of their lives," he told Zuiderma.

Meyer said Zuiderma could consider himself lucky that he had been acquitted on the charge of drunken driving.

Had he been found guilty, a prison sentence on the culpable homicide charge would have been the only option.

  • Sir Eidolon - 2011-07-28 22:19

    Bizarre. I wonder how he could afford William Booth.

      subtle59 - 2011-07-29 08:56

      He actually swerved for a POT HOLE

      rc8000c - 2011-09-24 20:09

      @ subtle so rather than do his wheel alignment he killed someone. He is a knob aswell as you sir.

  • Bob - 2011-07-28 22:54

    What an incredible justice system we have! /sarcasm. Bastard should've been jailed!

  • Percy Higgins - 2011-07-29 02:20

    This sentence sends out the wrong message. One wonders what Magistrate Meyer was smoking?

  • citadell_los - 2011-07-29 03:40

    What a lax system. Pitiful. Is your life only worth what you're driving these days?

  • NewsHoundMe - 2011-07-29 06:33

    Whilst I feel very sorry for the family of the cyclist who was killed, I have to add that the arrogance of cyclists in this city is unbelievable, riding two to three abreast on the most narrow of roads is a recipe for disaster.

      G - 2011-07-29 08:43

      It is frustrating when thy do that, but if you read the article you'll see: "A motorist who SWERVED his bakkie into a group of cyclists". I would have charged him with murder in the first degree. Aiming a car at somebody is the same as aiming a gun.

      Looter - 2011-07-29 09:15

      on who's account did the motorist swerve into them, cyclist? or was there a investigation done to determine if this was intentional, if so... i am sure he would have been charged with murder, what ever happened to a accident being exactly that?

      G - 2011-07-29 11:47

      @ Looter it says so in the report, unfortunately we don't have more details. It wouldn't be mentioned if it didn't happen. What could possibly justify swerving into a group of cyclists? Was he swerving to avoid a group of school kids on a school excursion or a pothole? Why didn't he swerve the other way? Why was swerving the only option left to him? Perhaps he was traveling too fast?

      HiJack - 2011-09-19 11:20

      For every 2-3 that ride abreast, you pass 1000 other cyclists daily that ride properly, yet you don't notice them and notice only the one that delay your commute by 13 seconds. How petty of you.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-07-29 07:09

    "Meyer said even if he had jailed Zuiderma, as the Olivier family had wanted, it would not bring Olivier back to life". But a R5000 fine would? What about a sentence where Zuiderma is ordered to pay the Oliver family a percentage of Oliver's monthly salary for 10 years or so? The R5000 fine is not justice. It is revenue for the State. Making Zuiderma try to compensate the family for their loss, is justice.

  • T - 2011-07-29 07:33

    Cyclist also tend to drive "like they own the road". The STILL ride side by side, oblivious of cars behind them wanting to pass. They should drive behind each other.They should too be made aware of "fines" applicable to them.

  • Nicola - 2011-07-29 07:54

    go to Andries Zuidema fb page. he certainly learned NOTHING from the experience. Killing another person whilst drunk, no remorse no conscious. shouldve been jailed, one less drunk killer on our roads. one that hits AND runs. coward. A recent wall post he wrote = #Headache!!!!!!!!!! Just too much fine whiskey # and goes on to LIKE various alcohol pages. J&B. Fish Eagle Brandy. Etc.

      Kyjara - 2011-07-29 08:18

      You deduced all of that from his Facebook page? Here's a little tip for you: Facebook is not the be all and end all. Just because he didn't have hundreds of status updates regarding his feelings on this doesn't mean that he didn't have any. Not all of us air our personal business on Facebook. And are you also suggesting he should have become teetotal after this just because people have assumed that he was drunk? I'm not condoning what he did but I will also not condone people making baseless assumptions from what they see on a social networking tool and trying to pass them off as fact.

      Nicola - 2011-07-29 16:55

      Kyjara, nothing deduced. ALL FACTS. copied from his fb page ! it screams = I AM A DRUNK AND LOVE BOOZE. you can learn a helllluvalot from any person social network page. eg. wether they like gardening, sport, BOOZE, etc. and if they a DOM DOOS not to privacy set their information. like our killer here. yes i will become a teetotaller if ive KILLED another person due to booze. booze destroys your ability to think straight. hence hit and run. and booze mustve destroyed his conscious and memory.. but is not him that we must hate, it is the justice system that shouldve locked him up that failed the victim family.

  • Looter - 2011-07-29 08:30

    Well i see cyclist's that think the road belongs to them. Roads are not for cycling or running, they are used for many types of vehicles, in most other countries they have a dedicated part of the road that is clearly marked for the use of bicycles only, in SA we dont have such luxury so there is a risk every time you use the road. Im not defending what this guy did, I'm just saying that you have to be realistic, dont think that this cant happen to you, and if you use the road you have to accept the risks that come with it.

      Looter - 2011-07-29 08:37

      if there are enough cyclist, then its up to the government to cater for the needs of these people, we don't know if the man was drunk, maybe he was scared(he killed someone)? Anyways, this could have been avoided if there were a place on the road dedicated for them no? well at least less of a risk. still not a nice story to read!

      RoyoF - 2011-09-19 07:25

      Looter actually we all share the road as we all pay for it . Drivers do not respect anybody on the roads except themselves . The risk is from people like you who are too selfish ,arrogant and murderous to grasp that . Id love to hang out with people like you ina boxing ring for a day and pound the hell out of you .Cyclist have rights and the quicker you understand that the less conflict there will be .

      ray.d.chaplin - 2011-09-19 22:25

      "Road are not for cycling or running" - really? Ummm, who was on the roads first? Oh yes, CYCLISTS!!! AND MOTORISTS DON'T THINK THEY OWN THE ROAD?!?!? Who are you trying to fool?!? Remember, we all have the right to use the road... irrespective of bicycles lanes, paths, etc. SAME ROADS, SAME RULES, SAME RIGHTS!!! Cyclists are classified as legal vehicles on the road - did you know that? And yes, some break the law by cycling 2 or 3 abreast. But how many motorists break the law by speeding, not indicating turns, not stopping BEHIND the line at stop streets & lights, etc, etc... so don't coming pointing fingers at cyclists until you sort out the millions more motorists who break the law and hit & run when they do something wrong.

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-07-29 08:48

    Incredible, the only logical charge should have been murder. He attempted murder by swerving at them, and achieved murder in the process? On another note, cyclists are their own worst ememies, they have no respect for other road users. I cannot understand where the inconsiderate behaviour emanates from, its as if they think they're something special. A move should be made by the cycling fraterity to teach their members to be considerate to other road users. They drive me insane with their selfishness!

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-07-29 08:51

    Unbelievable.Kill people with your car,suspended sentence and small fine.Our justice system is a huge embarrassment.

  • Frank - 2011-09-18 22:27

    The Judge should have taken his drivers license away. He may be more forgiving of cyclists if he becomes one himself.

      HiJack - 2011-09-19 11:23

      And I'll be the first cyclist to switch him off the road and into the gutter.

  • henk - 2011-09-19 11:05

    Just last sunday evening, as i came back from dropping someone at the airport, i almost killed a cyclist.. It was after six in the evening and already dark. I had to wait to turn into a T-junction at a traffic light close to my home. i was turning right and there was oncomming trafic, so i waited until the light turned orange and the aproatching cars stopped. As i was pulling off, out of nowere, without any light in front, this racing bike apeared! He was doing more than 60 kph and overtook the stopping cars on the left and jumped the orange light. He scraped the front bumper of my car but just sped away. If my car stopped half a metre later than it did, the cyclist would have been killed and i would have been made out to be the guilty party. Scary thought..

  • Carl Muller - 2011-10-01 12:34

    Give him community service on weekends for a year to keep him sober....

  • paulet.nel - 2013-05-23 17:14

    Unite against death on our SA Roads! Please take a moment to sign our petition for harsher punishments to those guilty of reckless driving. Go here and sign:

  • Kenny Alexander - 2013-05-25 10:00

    Hit and run and "possibly drunk" Once again all we really have as a fact is that a person's life was cut short. The other fact is that the sentence is a joke to say the least. a Pathetic state of affairs. Live with your memories.

  • pages:
  • 1