Hummer driver case postponed

2013-03-14 16:06
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Pretoria - The case against a Hummer driver found guilty of culpable homicide after crashing into three motorcyclists, killing two and injuring one, was postponed in the Pretoria North Regional Court on Thursday.

Magistrate Ben van Schalkwyk postponed the matter until 22 April following a request by lawyer Makhi Nogaga, representing Zambian national Indi Himalindi Chiyabu.

Nogaga told the court he was newly appointed to represent Chiyabu and needed time to get transcripts of previous court sessions and to be fully briefed on his client’s argument in the sentencing process.

Last month, the court found Chiyabu guilty on two charges of culpable homicide and for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report it.

On Thursday, the court was scheduled to hear arguments in mitigation and aggravation of Chiyabu’s sentence.

Nogaga said he was "incapacitated" to present the arguments and would need time to prepare.

The defence had received a probation report only on Thursday morning, he said.

State prosecutor Tania Carstens said she understood the defence’s position and did not oppose the request for a postponement.

However, she said Thursday’s request for a postponement should be the last as there were many parties hoping for the closure of the case.

"We have a lot of families and friends all concerned with this matter. It is important that we finalise this matter, even for the accused. We also know that the matter has attracted a lot of media attention," she said.

Motorcyclists killed

Numerous members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association SA were in the packed courtroom on Thursday.

Chiyabu crashed into the motorcyclists on Rachel de Beer Road in Pretoria in October 2010.

The Hummer caught fire and Chiyabu fled the scene.

He handed himself over to police only a few days later.

Two of the motorcycles also caught fire after the collision.

Pieter Coetzee and JP Kruger, who were members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association SA, died at the scene.

Coetzee's son Pieter jnr was seriously injured, losing a leg in the accident.

In previous proceedings, Van Schalkwyk said that in his opinion the motorcyclists could not have avoided the Hummer and Chiyabu was entirely responsible for the crash.

Read more on:    indi himalindi chiyabu

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