Humphreys jail sentence welcomed

2012-02-28 14:54

Cape Town - The 20-year jail term imposed on minibus taxi driver Jacob Humphreys was welcomed on Tuesday by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele, who hoped it would deter reckless driving.

"Those who are turning our roads into killing fields must be isolated and exposed, for their deeds are not only a danger to themselves but pose a real threat to the sustainability of society," he said.

"As government, we want to make it very clear that we remain steadfast in our resolve to bring down the fatality rate on our roads."


Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney imposed a 12-year prison sentence for each of Humphreys' 10 murder charges, to run concurrently.

This came to 12 years in prison for the 10 murders.

For the four attempted murder charges, the judge handed down a six-year prison sentence for each.

Four of the six years on each charge would run concurrently with the 12-year sentence for murder. This added, in effect, another eight years - bringing the total jail term to 20 years.

Humphreys was convicted of murder following an accident on August 25, 2010 at the Buttskop level crossing in Cape Town. While taking children to school, he overtook a row of cars, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks, killing 10 children and injuring four others.

Ndebele said the department would aggressively pursue those who drove recklessly, inconsiderately or while drunk.

'Turning point'

Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle said on Tuesday that Humphreys's sentence was a turning point in the history of road safety.

"By convicting and sentencing Humphreys so severely for murder and attempted murder, the judiciary has itself delivered a drastic boost to road safety," he said.

"Reckless drivers will surely sit up and take note that from now on killers will receive their just deserts in prison."

Carlisle said it was critical for citizens to do their part by obeying the rules of the road.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-02-28 15:13

    Turning point must be spread to other wrong doing not limited to this

      Kala - 2012-02-28 16:18

      "Ndebele said the department would aggressively pursue those who drove recklessly, inconsiderately or while drunk." Right... Let's hope the same get's applied to Judge Motata

      kenneth.mthethwa - 2012-02-29 14:50

      @Kala...shooo,thats the most stupid comment I have ever heard in this forum,shooo,u are a disgrace to the humankind.

  • Grimmister - 2012-02-28 15:18

    Excuse me Mr very polite of you to jump on the bandwagon. Yes we applaud the sentence, but for how long have we been imploring for harsher sentences on the roads???..and you Mr Ndebele have turned a deaf ear on the cries of this country. Now you want us to believe that you are actually doing your job??? are doing your job...I didn't realise jumping on the bandwagon was considered full time employment in the public sector.

      Claude - 2012-02-28 16:00

      Frank and Grimmister, And the pop stars who were drag racing in the minis. Better than jail; Let the court asses the earning (realistically) capacity of the criminal. And then apportion the fines as such. 10% to the state. 40% to the parents of those killed. This is per annum and for the length of sentence. Also a minimum payment, so he might have to sell some assets. If we can do this in divoce courts, why not in these cases.

      matvee111 - 2012-02-29 14:19

      dude stop whining...we happy with the sentence finish n klaar

  • J-Man - 2012-02-28 15:31

    So its 12 years, not 20 years for a murder? Wow...

      Joburg - 2012-02-28 15:49

      For sentencing a court of law is obliged to look at the circumstances surrounding the crime. No, 20 years is not enough for murder, but in this case it is just and fair, seeing that the gentlemen made a mistake, was grossly negligent and should be punished, but what most commentators seem to be forgetting is that this guy had no criminal intend. What he did was wrong and a fair punishment followed, but to compare him to hardened murders and rapist and to punish him like the latter would be a miscarriage of justice and for all purposes be subject to appeal. I say in this case the sentence was fair. (before you ask me if I would say the same if my kid was killed like this, I need to remind you of the fact that a question like that is the reason why we had an objective and independent judge in this case, as purported by our Constitution.)

      Barry - 2012-02-29 14:06

      Use street view in Googlemap to view the level crossing and the nature of the crime becomes even more shocking, he had to have seen the train and still took the chance.

  • Jean- - 2012-02-28 15:37

    How do you justify 20 years effective jail term for the murder of 20 young children? Then we are not even talking about him getting bail or early release for good behaviour or maybe even early release for medical reasons such as stress from the 18 month court case...please show me how this system works?

      Joburg - 2012-02-28 16:02

      THe difference between the two cases is that in one of two had criminal intend, the other just being negligent, you can decide which is which

  • Simon - 2012-02-28 15:38

    A father get sentenced to life for raping his 13yr old daughter which is sick - the sentence is correct , A man kills 10 innocent children , and he gets 20yrs , What about life without perole , People can say what they want but I dont agree. If he was in saudi he whould have got hannged in the middle of the street. Mr Minister , what if it was one of your children in that taxi. What if he gets released and drive a taxi again , kills more people , even mabe your daughter or son , think about it . What whould you do if you were in their shoes

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-02-28 15:45

    High time. I hope the jub jub saga also concludes with a similar sentence. The next step is to place this verdict on every billboard in South Africa so that whoever does not have access to television also can take note of this very important day.

      Claude - 2012-02-28 16:10

      See my comments above. Spending time in jail is not the answer. I assume he has a family, They suffer.

      Kala - 2012-02-28 17:19

      I read it Claude and Disagree totally with your suggestion. 1) Who is going to hire a criminal? No one. So he can't work and can't generate an income. So he sits at home doing nothing. 2)Maybe all Humphrey can do is drive a taxi. Will you get into a taxi with him as a driver or let you kids get into the taxi? So again no income. Your idea is fundamentaly flawed. He should be forced to do hard labour without compensation.

  • evdwesthuizen1 - 2012-02-28 16:15

    The sentence handed out is wrong. They should of run consecutively. Not concurrently. Or at the minimum, a 60 year sentence with No chance of parole! Parole is to easily obtained in this country... Excepting if you are Clive Darby Lewis.

  • Jean- - 2012-02-28 16:19

    @Joburg: I am not going to get into a argument with you on this subject. You are entitled to your opinion. I would not call willfully driving around one, two, three or four vehicles standing at a railway crossing in front of booms, which are closed because of an aproaching train, and then trying to cross before the train crosses with a vehicle filled with children negligent, I would call that criminal. You are thus going to tell the kids parents that his intent was to get them to school earlier, they just happen to get killed, nevermind the laws he broke in taking this action! I am sorry, that is not negligent but criminal! That is my opinion on the matter, and I don't even have children!

      Joburg - 2012-02-28 16:34

      Criminal yes, but also sentenced accordingly. I do not condone the actions of the gentleman in question, but you can not compare him and punish him with the same standard as you would for a guy who took a gun, went to those ten kids and shot them. Weet jy hoe vinnig dit is om 'n ongeluk te maak.

  • Alfred - 2012-02-28 16:22

    The majority of Minibus taxi drivers won't sit up and take note because they know law enforcement officers ( are instructed to ??? )look the other way for these drivers' contemptuous behaviour on the road.

  • Fanie - 2012-02-28 16:25

    Now Minister Ndebele, many people in SA welcomes this decision. Now all you and your dept. must do, is to start working and prevent these things happening. Do not wait till people are killed. get stiffer laws and implement them please. Traffic officers are just as guilty in killing people as this man sent to jail, they did not do there job properly.

  • Chris - 2012-02-28 16:25

    Blah blah blah... all talk and no action! The mines have a strict code of safety which is enforced, but hundreds of our people are getting killed in and by taxi's everyday, and the taxis carry on regardless!Total lack of leadership!

  • Michael - 2012-02-28 17:17

    so now its just the jub jub trial and then hopefully the driver of the car that took out Thomas Ferreira at the robot

  • Fanie - 2012-02-28 20:19

    Now is the time to get SICK. Sorry he must wait 2 days then he can get sick. WARNING. If you play golf do not fight with other people, when out of jail for poor health of cause.

  • Danny - 2012-02-29 14:19

    Shut up Sibu, nobody cares what you think - especially after your tirade about the toll roads and 'take a taxi' speech.

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