Gouda crash: MEC seeks murder charges

2012-01-31 07:23

Cape Town - Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle wants murder charges brought against the owner of a tractor involved in an accident which killed eight people near Gouda on Monday morning.

The Caterpillar 631D earth moving tractor, which is often used for road-building, was on the Klein Berg River Bridge at the time of the crash, in which 22 people were injured.

"It appears that two trucks were approaching the bridge, Carlisle said.

The first, on seeing the massive earth moving vehicle on the bridge, was able to brake in time, but the second truck had less time to react.

While swerving to avoid the truck in front of it, it hit the stationary vehicle and then hit the tractor at which point the bed was ripped off and flung into the river.

Owner fled

Carlisle said both trucks were legally compliant. However, the tractor was illegal.

"I am further informed that the owner of this giant tractor then fled the scene, leaving the driver to talk to the police," he said.

"The tractor is unlicensed, unregistered and, these requirements notwithstanding, it should not have been on the road without an Abnormal Load permit and escort vehicles."

Carlisle said he would carefully follow developments around the case as it appeared to be a classic case of "wilful negligence" on the part of a vehicle owner and "possibly the driver".

"The National Prosecuting Authority would be well within their rights to explore murder charges in this case under the dolus eventualis principle," he said.

"It will also be instructive to establish what the role of speed and following distance, two major killers on our roads, were in this case."

  • andrew.glafke - 2012-01-31 08:01

    What about all the unlicensed taxis?

      charl4e - 2012-01-31 09:25

      They're excluded from any type of law or restrictions, just like the ANC. Previously disadvantaged - forthcoming omitted.

      Ruan - 2012-01-31 16:20

      I was going to ask the same!!! It is still not right, but why is this over exagerated apon and the terrible accidents caused by unroad worthy vehicles not seen as the same?

  • Justin Edgecomb - 2012-01-31 08:02

    And yet they will do nothing about the taxi's which are nothing but death traps on our roads????? Useless!!!

  • Luke - 2012-01-31 08:10

    If you cannot stop in time you are traveling to fast or not observing a safe following distance, murder charges should be brought apon the truck driver if anyone. Extremely sad however that people lost their lives.

      Hansie - 2012-01-31 09:38

      Luke, you obviously have never driven a truck before. Was this bridge on a bend in the road perhaps or was this tractor moving or not? This was not the truck drivers' fault. The tractor did not have any emergency lights on. Stop making stupid comments if you don't know the facts!!!!!

      camp.j - 2012-01-31 14:02

      Hey bud, you are wrong dude! The tractor was illegal and therefore should not have been on the road. Yes the truck may have been travelling too fast HOWEVER this is not the issue, the tractor being on the road illegally is the issue. Just like drink driving, it may not be the drunk person's fault for causing an accident however the drunk driver shouldn't have been there in the first place.

  • peter.saaiman - 2012-01-31 08:11

    Its because the owner of the tractor is easily found, but an unregistered taxi's owner is like a needle in a haystack.

  • Deeteem - 2012-01-31 08:13

    Mmmm now tractors are the weapon of choice !!

  • Guy - 2012-01-31 08:14

    Ok, so the owner will be fined for being on the road illegally. But the the second truck truck driver is to blame. Suppose a pothole had appeared in the road and the first truck driver stopped but the second didn't. Would you blame the road's agency for the accident?

      Barefoot - 2012-01-31 09:15

      granted the state of our roads are appalling but what happened to safe following distance? i do not think it takes a second for a pothole to develop but i might be wrong

  • Alex - 2012-01-31 08:16

    why was there 8 people in the trucks?

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-31 08:23

      Eight? The article says 8 died and 22 were injured. That's 30!

  • DanieSmit - 2012-01-31 08:22

    What a politician would not do and say to see their name in the papers. Its got bugger all to do with crooked politicians , but the traffic police and courts should do their job.

      celeste.rsa - 2012-01-31 08:32

      Errrr.....he is the MEC for transport in the province....

  • primetimeacc - 2012-01-31 08:34

    The real cause of the multiple collision - speed and following distance. To quote from above "It will also be instructive to establish what the role of speed and following distance, two major killers on our roads, were in this case." But the tractor driver should never have obeyed an unlawfull instruction from the owner, so the owner should also take full resopnsibility for the loss!!! They were after all the other direct cause of the accident.

      Cy - 2012-01-31 09:26

      and if the second truck driver kept a good follow distance he would have been able to stop in time and no accident would have happened!

  • primetimeacc - 2012-01-31 08:35

    So please start prosecuting for FOLLOWING DISTANCE - AS RECKLESS AND NEGLIGENT DRIVING, Mr MEC for the Cape (and Gauteng to please)!!!!!!!

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-31 08:39 To the ANC regime: remember to also diligently do the same justice for this murdered farmer.

      Barefoot - 2012-01-31 09:08

      Eh I am of the view that when any individual is shot dead be it black or white farmer or farm worker a murder docket is automatically opened. in this case the charge would maybe be involuntary manslaught/culpable homicide. and farm murders have been deemed a priority crime for some time now

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2012-01-31 08:52

    This loss of many innocent lives was avoidable. Let's the law take it's cause. The farmers should also also review their means of transporting workers. Trucks and tractors are not the safest mode of transporting human beings although the irresponsible actions of the drivers always contribute.

  • Eric - 2012-01-31 08:54

    Regardless of what was on the road. Legally or illegally was the truck drivers Blind. What if there was a bunch of cows on the side of the road, a legal vehicle etc etc. What needs to be investigated is the two trucks. How close were they travelling. Why did the first truck not take the necessary cautionary action. Are the truck drivers also going to be charged with murder? The made the accident

  • bretton.eveleigh - 2012-01-31 09:04

    Robin Carlisle, it's amazing how quickly you react to this incident, yet every day people are murdered on our roads by unroadworthy taxis and their incompetent, arrogant drivers! Seems you have zero political will to fix it!

      Peter - 2012-01-31 11:13

      Once again Carlisle is shooting from the hip. Doesn't know the facts but alredy pronouncing sentence.....

  • jucebone - 2012-01-31 09:11

    Something painfully similar happened to me and the owner immediately declared himself insolvent and no recompense was ever received, nor any sanction

  • EyesEars - 2012-01-31 09:12

    Unfortunately Tshivhombela, the farmers must obey certain laws, which means that their is less money to pay all the workers, as well as maintain food production as well. The farmers can hardly cope as it is, but they are suppose to do MORE & MORE? Typical mentallity! At the rate that farmers and their families are being killed, I would suggest that they leave the ground altogether and produce nothing. Let's see how long SA will last, then. Greediness and bloodthurst are at play with each and every farm murder. Why then are their so little support for the farmers? AS for the drivers of the second truck and the tracktor. Patience is what caused both of your downfall. The fact that the tractor are not registered or "legalized" is besides the issue, as the tractor could have been one that were bought on an auction or private or where ever and could have been on their way to help a next door neighbour and the tractor would not be on the road normally. Why else would it be on the road? Therefor the owner - no murder charge, as he was not the one driving the tractor. Every driver is responsible for the way he/she drives and then it's got nothing to do with the owner. So if I rent a car from the airport, get into an accident then eg. Avis must be charged with murder?

      Gerald - 2012-01-31 10:50

      eyesears... all that you say about the tractor would be all well if the said tractor was the only vehicle on that road which would have also been a private road, whether that tractor was going to help a neighbour or even deliver food to the homeless is beside the point...there is legislation that is there solely to protect all road users, the farmer should have gotten a permit which have forced the same person to have escort vehicles and the necessary warning mechanisms in place. Also, the fact that he fled the science thereafter leaves a lot to be desired. Take a moment and realise the gravity of the situation, because the law was not adhered to people died, this negligence contributed to the demise of these human, how you then say it is the tractor driver's fault (re: your avis example) leaves me shocked @ how your brain functions. How you include farm murders in this is evn more mystifying. It is deplorable how defensive certain white bloggers here can be about death of certain peoples and how certain acts of 'innocent stupidity (in this case the farmer) could spark such outrageous and insensitive reactions. Look at the 'Waterkloof four' as an example and how they r compared to selebi or even shaik, forgetting that these unfortunate boys actually went on a killing spree for "fun", while the others stole money...not to say that I am excusing the latter two. So tell me, does black life have any value to you?

  • Rob - 2012-01-31 09:25

    I don't get it! If the vehicle was unable to stop in time...why? Brakes? Driver? Speed? Sure, the tractor is a factor but not the cause!!!!!

  • Cracker - 2012-01-31 10:06

    Sounds very prescriptive the "reminder" remark by the MEC. A fine line sometimes between what is preached for other political parties and what oneself practices.

  • keith.gough - 2012-01-31 10:13

    Instead of pushing for a murder charge for every accident, no matter how tragic, we would be far better served meting out justice to murderers who had the intent to kill. I am not excusing Jub Jub et al, but an accident is manslaughter, no more and no less. In our society where murder and rape are our national sports, the politicians are scoring cheap points by going up against nthe soft targets whilst ignoring the very real threat we face on a daily basis.

  • JC - 2012-01-31 10:45

    Taxi driver is NEEDLE IN DAGGA BAG

  • Peter - 2012-01-31 11:11

    Once again Carlisle is shooting from the hip. Doesn't know the facts but alredy pronouncing sentence.....

  • marius.dumas - 2012-01-31 12:06

    I just wonder why the truck could not stop in time? One should never drive that fast so that you cannot stop or avoid a stationary object of any kind. What if it was an bus that have broken down on the bridge, a herd of cattle or a group of school children? Then why could the truck not stop in time? I think an unlicensed vehicle on the road is wrong, but driving in a way that you cannot avoid or stop for stationary objects regardless of what kind of object, is just as questionable. It appears to me that there was speeding involved, the driver of the truck has not applied his attention to the road or the truck’s breaks were not up to standard.

  • Gail - 2012-02-01 13:04

    Disobeying the rules of the road particularly if you are a licensed driver is particularly reprehensible and instructing a person to drive a vehicle normally driven by said person without a licence from point a to b on a public is cowardly, irresponsible and it can be reasonably expected that an accident would ensue. The owner is responsible for the actions of his employees and now eight people are dead. This article isn't about taxis.

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