Joggers - Ndebele wants murder charges

2011-10-23 21:51

Johannesburg - Murder charges should be brought against a motorist who crashed into six joggers, killing five of them, in Midrand on Saturday morning, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Sunday.

"Following allegations that the driver of the vehicle was drunk, the driver should be charged with murder," said Ndebele.

Witnesses claimed the driver was so drunk he had to be reminded that he had driven into the group of joggers, he said.

Four women and one man died in the incident. Another man was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.

The runners were preparing for the Soweto Marathon when they were hit by the Mercedes-Benz ML500.

The driver was due to appear in the Midrand Magistrate's Court on Monday, according to Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane.

Ndebele reiterated that road users who disobeyed the rules of the road would face the consequences of their actions.

Fifty-seven drunk drivers were arrested in Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape, and 29 drunk drivers were arrested in the Western Cape on Friday and Saturday, he said.

Meanwhile, Gideon Sam, the president of South African Olympic sports governing body, said Sascoc was mourning the death of the five runners.

Sam urged the transport authorities to do everything in their power to address the problem.

"When our runners and cyclists end up losing their lives in this manner something must be done as this is going to discourage people of all ages from taking up sport."

"Maybe our authorities must look at even more special jogging and cycling lanes to safeguard our sportsmen and women's lives while out there training and enjoying themselves," he said.

  • Jackie - 2011-10-23 22:15

    eish mara joggers ne! if the driver was really drunk then murder charges should be brought against him, joggers can be a nuisance at times much like cyclists. they tend to compete with cars forgetting that should an accident occur, they are guaranteed injury or worse. motorists are also insensitive at times too, driving like they own the road and always have right of way. all sides must learn to be courteous on the road.

      siyanyezi - 2011-10-23 22:31

      "joggers can be a nuisance"? thats in such bad taste. 5 people just died

      Dharmesh - 2011-10-23 22:54

      jackie, go play on a highway.

      Mark - 2011-10-24 05:47

      I agree Jackie. Even though I am a runner and I find some fellow runners and cyclists are really arrogant in their use of the road. For example running or cycling abreast on a narrow stretch of road. In the area where I live we have groups of Walk-for-Life walkers walking abreast in the road as though they are invincible. They even have the cheek to give one a challenging glare as you drive past them. NOTE I am however not implying that the runners (not joggers) hit by this drunk driver were in any way to blame.

      Charl - 2011-10-24 06:32

      Traffic laws state that the road is shared, and everyone on it has the same rights. It is not India here, where size determines right of way.

      Claire - 2011-10-24 06:42

      I think drunk drivers are far more of a nuisance!!!!!!

      Lerato - 2011-10-24 07:47

      @Jackie, I know what you mean about joggers also playing a responsible role too. In this case I know for a fact that thise particular group knew the do's and don't of jogging, they had been doing this for more than 5 years. They always jogged against traffic. This idiot of man robbed me of my two good friend. I pray he rots in hell. No punishment is good enough for him.

      Tgif - 2011-10-24 09:13

      Runners are a nuisance sometimes ? at least they don't kill people by running over them ! your statement affirms that you believe that the road is for the use of motorists exclusively . Please go for another test,pedestrians and cyclists are road users too. I am not only defending recreational pedestrians and cyclists but the ones that get to work by bicycle and on foot . You Narrow minded, self serving ,selfish idiot.

      richard.hipkin - 2011-10-24 09:18

      Jackie, what deep evil pit did you slither out of??

      Willie - 2011-10-24 09:46

      "... they tend to compete with cars .." we do not compete with cars how you say such a stupid thing for God's sake people lost their lives.Get it into your head.I normally don't stoop i wish that ML could have hit you

      Shannon - 2011-10-24 10:28

      Jackie.... I think you are sick! Five people were KILLED!!

      Garnett - 2011-10-24 11:27

      Who died and made you God of the road where in Joburg do you expect people to run?

  • susan.ettmayr - 2011-10-23 22:38

    Wonder who the drunk driver in the expensive Mercedes is??

      cameronjohnprice - 2011-10-23 22:46

      Does it matter?

      Alison - 2011-10-24 09:26

      it does matter this bastard should be named and shamed

      Susan - 2011-10-24 09:40

      He will probably appear in court with a jacket over his head! He should be photographed & his face plastered on the front page of every newspaper. He has destroyed 6 families... why should his face be hidden?

  • linda.l.mndayi - 2011-10-23 22:49

    Ndebele, please focus on scrapping toll road fees and leave other people's ministries. Culpable homicide, like murderI is a form of unlawful killing. The crucial difference, however, is that if a person kills intentionally it is murder, whereas if he or she kills negligently it is culpable homicide.

      Blip - 2011-10-24 05:07

      Quite right! If I fail to return a DVD to a video-shop on time, and they charge me with theft, the charge will fail. If they, however, charge me with the far lesser offence of breach of contractual obligations, the charge will stick. If a charge fails, I walk free; if a charge sticks, I pay the penalty. Too often people think that a really heavy charge is just what you need to curb lawlessness -- in fact, over-charging allows many crooks to get off scot-free and utterly unpunished.

      Grant - 2011-10-24 05:34

      Very well said Blip. Watch, Jub-Jub will walk free. Probebly the intention of the NPA...

      John - 2011-10-24 06:36

      @linda.l.mndayi The basis of the murder charge is that the person knowingly drove drunk, and killed somebody. That's tantamount to murder, albeit perhaps only 2nd degree (it could be said the person didn't plan to kill, but their actions meant that it was practically a given that somebody was going to die. Similar to shooting a gun into a crowd). So it'll probably only end up at culpable homicide, but with a bunch of other charges. Whatever happens, this guy is in the poop... @Blip: Ndebele doesn't draw up the charge sheet, NPA does. If there isn't sufficient evidence for a murder charge, they'll a it. @Grant: That's just ridiculous. Seriously; what on earth would NPA have to gain by losing a high profile case? You're dribbling nonsense man.

      Michelle - 2011-10-24 10:15

      @John... You smarter than the rest of these idiots. Big ups

      Russell - 2011-10-24 13:12

      Culpable homicide is a competent verdict of murder. In other words, if the State fails to prove that the killing was intentional, but negligent, the court may still convict the accused of culpable homicide, even if the main charge was murder.

      Grant - 2011-10-24 15:08

      @John. I based my comment on the fact that Jub-Jub is well conected. Whist under arrest Malema and friends took KFC to the prison and were allowed to sit in an office. Something that had never happened before. The NPA are a government department who are mindfull of the distinct possibility that Malema could one day be their boss. I just put two and two together...

  • Phillie - 2011-10-23 22:52

    It does not help building cycle and jogging lanes because motorists either throw their bottles and junk into the lanes or the park in them making them dangerous and unusable. Such an absolute tragedy that people who try and keep fit and enjoy sport should be killed because of insensitive,selfish and inconsiderate oafs.

      Van - 2011-10-24 00:11

      I cycle on open roads. What help is to have a couple old sparkplugs in your back pocket. It works wonders.

      Garith - 2011-10-24 06:50

      Nice one Van... its because of "Yaaps" like you, peolpe have no respect for cyclists.

      Dean - 2011-10-24 13:50

      @Van - And what is it you intend to do with those spark plugs..hmm? Throw them at a car that "pisses you off"? Why dont u try it and see how quickly you end up with your face smashed in. Your "carrying" sparkplugs in your pocket is the same as someone walking around with a gun that is loaded. The intent is there. Do it to my car when i drive past you and you'll be pretty sorry soon after...Get a life you double-digit-IQ idiot!

      Ettienne - 2011-10-24 17:22

      @ Van. Ever thought of what the repercussions of throwing a spark plug at a motorist would be? What if that vehicle collides with others KILLING them? You have an insensitive mind. Cyclists like you should be banned. You just damage the fun part of the sport. That being said, insensitive and reckless motorists need to take responsibly for their actions, and motorists need to be more alert to their surroundings.

  • Blip - 2011-10-24 04:55

    Easiest thing in the world to charge them with murder. But if you charge someone with an offence you can't prove in court, the judge has no option but to acquit them. He/she can't convict them on a lesser charge which hasn't been pressed. To convict anyone of murder you have to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the accused deliberately and wilfully intended to kill these people. Not that he was neglectful, inconsiderate, careless, drunk or anything, but that killing them was his clear intention. This murder charge will, of course, fail. And the culprit will get off scot-free. Why? Because the prosecution overplayed its hand. The moral? Press charges that will stick.

      Fred - 2011-10-24 12:46

      @ Blip, in South African Law there is a term COMPETENT VERDICT. Basically what it means, you charge with murder, and you prove what you can, and the judge rules on that. So you can be found guilty on (for example) assault, although the initial charge was murder.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2011-10-24 06:02

    jackie please apply your last brain lob constuctively and shut up

      ianmichaelcalder - 2011-10-24 07:46

      Try for "lobe" next time, especially when criticizing intellect?

      Brian - 2011-10-24 10:16

      @Ianetcetc. picky, picky!

  • Charles - 2011-10-24 06:13

    Drunk + Driving = stupid = Murder, Not Negligent. The law can be changed. See how many idiots will then risk being caught for D.U.I. For Jackie's "Nuisance" runners, a honk on the horn should suffice. To kill 5 people is criminal. Culpable homicide is a form of murder. Right ? Don't go out there and kill them.

      Althea - 2011-10-24 11:26

      I agree with you 100%. Hope he gets what he deserves

  • Kobus - 2011-10-24 06:46

    people have been warned on tv with adverts and billboards etc .. enough is enough, drinking and driving is a problem = which means the driver is at fault , i say give the full force of the law upon him with murder charges and play mind games with prisoners who commit crimes and state in writing, death penalty a possibility. that aught to teach them and give them hell to no end.

  • Alan - 2011-10-24 07:32

    No traffic laws do not state that roads are shared!!! They are for vehicles only pedestrians are meant to walk/run on the pavement!!!!!!

      Lanfear - 2011-10-24 08:08

      Exactly! And why do runner and other pedestrians so often walk in the street when there is a wide pavement they can do so on?

      Manuel - 2011-10-24 09:07

      So that gives you the right to ride over anybody who happens to be sharing your piece of tar?

      Theresa - 2011-10-24 09:13

      Alan u can only walk/run on pavements if they are there to walk on, i live in Midrand and there are no pavements u can walk on just grass stones and sand, and my boyfriend is in a wheelchair and we went for a walk the other day and have no choice but to walk in the road, maybe if there were pavements things like this would not happen, just saying

  • Robert - 2011-10-24 07:49

    This is a tragedy. But I must also say that I have nearly had a accident with cyclists and joggers. I have suggestions. 1. They are not allowed to cycle or practice on roads without a shoulder 2. They must be registered with the road ordinance and have clear visible registration numbers like cars to report bad behaviour cause we a motorists have no way to report the individuals that don't obey the laws of the road. Side by side jogging or cycling have happened with me on several occasions. We are mixing from 60Km/h - 120 km/h with 5 km/h to 20 km/h. It is dangerous in itself. It does not excuse what has happened and its sad that a drunk driver killed these people. That is so wrong. But think about in general.

  • Danie - 2011-10-24 08:09

    Jackie, its not like they ran over or on the road surface, as I understand they where running on the road shoulder. No Doubt, the driver should be charge with murder and attempted murder for the injured runner. It would be great if the SA courts could at the same time award compensation to the families of those killed and the injured. Bankrupting the driver completely, let him walk if he ever get out of Jail. Then he should not get out jail ever.

  • meralo19 - 2011-10-24 08:14

    I'm deeply disturbed by some of the comments here. As a runner I have first-hand experience of dealing with arrogant road users. I've even had to slam on the bonnet of a car that nearly flattened me because the driver was too busy texting to notice me! There is no argument in the world that will convince me the joggers are to blame here...they were not drunk and driving a 2-ton battering ram! Get a grip people, regardless of the circumstances...the non-variable in this story is a drunk driver. All the other what-ifs are not important, his actions wiped out 5 wholesome, healthy living people and probably ruined the sporting future of the 6th person. If it makes you all feel better, because you are probably all guilty of these actions yourself, then go ahead and think what you will of the deceased...and count yourself lucky that you are not facing charges yourself.

  • Bokfan - 2011-10-24 08:14

    Take the bastrid down and jail him for life. Five decent people lost to society because of one overfed, overbottled and overmonied criminal. And let the same happen to JubJub and his vile friend.

  • Dean - 2011-10-24 08:16

    Drunk on a Saturday morning? This leads to the assumption that he was most likely drinking from Friday night, and continued to do so through the night into Saturday morning. Nothing better to do with his time. The sad lonely prick must go sit in jail for the rest of his life, or better still, BE HANGED for MURDER. Oh wait...we dont have that "luxury" in this country anymore. PITY. Its apparently "inhumane" to hang a person for murder, but its not inhumane to kill 5 people in a drunken state???

  • Jimmy - 2011-10-24 08:17

    Lock him up IT IS MURDER

  • Jenni - 2011-10-24 08:17

    this makes me so mad I worry about running on the roads often and even at races we need to be watchful as there are many impatient idiots who disregard the marshalls and traffic officers I worry about my 10 year old son at these races all the time as drivers just dont care switch off your engine and take in the atmosphere cheer on the runners its an hour or two out of your life. These drivers need to be taken to book I hope he gets life these are our fellow runners we are a family of crazy people who love to get out there and run we love life and do it to stay fit and lead a healthy life then some idiot cuts it short. The drunk driver who killed two bedfordview runners got 3 years suspended sentence what a disgrace he is a murderer.May he never have a nights peaceful sleep again.There is no excuse for drunk driving EVER.

  • willie.uys - 2011-10-24 08:22

    Really should be charged with manslaughter - murder is when you set out to go and kill someone. Just get it right and do it regularly and convict enough.

  • kimvanes - 2011-10-24 08:30

    This is an absolute tragedy, families have lost wives, mothers, sisters, husband, fathers, brothers. I am a jogger and my family would be devastated if i had been unfortunate enough to be one of the joggers that lost their lives. Thoughts and prayers to those who have lost loved ones. It is sad that debates rage about "Fault" when it is clear someone broke a law and 5 people lost their lives. What has happened to our society?

  • Shoda - 2011-10-24 08:31

    There are two different ministries roads and sport.The drunk driver should be charged with criminal charges however shouln't the dept of sport be providing adequate facilities for any type of sport for training/jogging. So shouldn't some of the blame go to joggers/minister of sport for wrongful use of the road?

      Jenni - 2011-10-24 21:53

      oh not another idiot the joy of running and what makes it an accessible sport for all is the fact that you can put on your tekkies whenever you are able to and just go for a run so now you want to force us to drive somewhere and run in that specific area because fellow motorists are to selfish to be considerate to runners or cyclists try it one day then you will realise why we do it it is the freedom to be able to run when and where you wish run around your neighbourhood and see the gardens and smell the flowers thats what running is about but beacuse of a drunk idiot our freedom to run must be limited

  • Richard - 2011-10-24 08:33

    I agree that runners should be more aware of the fact that the roads are used by cars and they can be a pest on the roads especially when they run side by side. This, having said, does not excuse any driver to drive drunk. Drunken drivers should be made an example of. Send them to jail. Statistics show that a very large proportion of all fatalities on our roads involves liquor.

  • Dan - 2011-10-24 08:50

    @ Johan. I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. The accident has no racial meaning - it is just a terrible accident. What I am saying is why in heavens name is the minister only voicing his shock with this accident and not with other similar terrible accidents. I just hate selective governance. I don't even know the race of the driver, so it is certainly not a race issue for me.

  • Paul - 2011-10-24 08:52

    So sad this happened ... But it is the punishment that counts - not (necessarily) the charge. A friend of mine was killed in a contolled intrsection T-bone smash caused by a drunk driver just after 8-am on a Monday! Culprit was sentenced to 10 years jail, suspended on condition he went for councelling - did a few sessions and dissappeared. Got off scot-free! Justice? ... Hah!

  • dumisile.nene - 2011-10-24 08:57

    "Four women and one man died in the incident. Another man was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries." Noooooooooooooooooo New24 its not a man that was taken to hospital its a WOMAN jeeeez get your facts right.

  • zdubery - 2011-10-24 09:05

    Murder charges for an accident even though he was drunk? Is it not manslaughter. Was the driver a white?

      Dean - 2011-10-24 09:27

      Does it matter??? Murder is Murder regardless of color/ethnicity!!!

      Dean - 2011-10-24 09:30

      Ive read your comment over and over a few times...and come to the conclusion that....YOU ARE AN IDIOT! It is manslaughter! You make it sound like "its acceptable because, its not entirely his fault...shame man, he was drunk"

      Rory - 2011-10-24 10:21

      Ha! I have read the comment 5 times and come to the same conclusion!! He is an idiot. Either wait.. yup he's an idiot.

  • sibusiso.mpofu1 - 2011-10-24 10:39

    In SA here we have become so insensitive that people will always find reasons to justify death of a human being. We are so doomed if we don't start cherishing life. When are we going to practice the Christianity that we claim to abide by? Where is the professionalism and common sense? Where is the respect for life, as normal human beings? Damn!!!! Black and White Nonsense!!! I am a human being and don't deserve to die!!

      Rory - 2011-10-24 10:45

      Ja spot on man! I dunno how it always becomes a race issue on these sites. It is clear cut, 4 joggers were killed by a drunk driver. Disgustingly shocking! END

  • Gail - 2011-10-24 10:54

    These joggers were practising for the Soweto Marathon and could have been any race since this has not been mentioned anywhere. The race of the driver is also not mentioned. My point is that it was tragic that 5 people were plowed into by a drunk person driving a 2 ton vehicle in the morning and my sympathies go out to all the families and friends of those killed. The other point that has to be made here is that the man by law will get the toughest sentence if the prosecution try him under the correct law which is involuntary manslaughter or culpable homicide while DUI. Charging him with murder despite the fact that he killed these innocent people will not get the harshest sentence although the moment you take that first sip knowing you have no alternative plan about getting home you are starting a chain of events which can lead to just such an accident. Accidents which happen while under the influence of substances such as alcohol should not be an extenuating circumstance and in a case like this the driver should be banned from driving or owning a car for life as well as given the maximum sentence allowed under the law with no chance of parole or visitation from anyone but his attorney until he dies. All ethnic groups drive and also take part in things like marathons, I know my own son did the Soweto with friends one year and he is white. Sadly joggers can't always choose where they practise and we have insufficient wellpaid police to monitor our vast network of roads constan

      Jenni - 2011-10-24 22:11

      the reason they say the soweto marathon is that it is one of the big races that runners do to qualify for two oceans and comrades for which entries for next year have just opened not only black runnrs do this race I am white I eneterd last year and will be running this year because the spectators are so wonderful they come out of their homes to cheer you on no matter what colour you are whereas sadly in other areas there is no support we only get hoted at because we are stopping traffic

  • Sihle - 2011-10-24 10:57

    Mr Ndebele.when did the law change in respect of road laws,this is not murder but capable homicide.Maybe you have changed the law which is not your domain.Scrap the tolls that's the priority now.

  • Larissa - 2011-10-24 11:14

    There are probably very few people that can honestly say they have never driven under the influence of alcohol at some point in their lives BUT to drive so drunk that you don't even realise you have just hit 5 people, that's another level! Right now 5 families and loads of friends are experiencing a great loss becuase of a moment of stupidity. Be safe and think twice about drinking and driving!

  • Bart - 2011-10-24 11:16

    i saw the aftermath of the accident as i live there. the driver was speeding due to the damage in the car, you can see clearly he lodt control trying to go around a bend. the specific road is notorious for shooting stop streets. from what the paramedic said on the scene was that 6 were hit an 5 died. also the joggers were not running facin oncomming traffic, but were running with traffic, i stand to be corrected but a person walking or running on the road should do it facing the oncomming traffic? they were also running oin the side of the road that had a hard shoulder the opposite side of the road had the soft shoulder ie, the slanted concrete block. the driver hit them on the oncomming lane. it is a real shame that this has happened, it is the drivers fault. it is a shame that people died, but i could have been they were alos not correct in what they were doing or how they were doing it. this does not assign blame to the joggers, in now way. this was sad incident indeed!

  • ruben.maistry - 2011-10-24 12:16

    Can someone please describe exactly how this disaster occured and why was the driver no named?

  • ndlovucl - 2011-10-24 12:44

    The real "nuisance" here is a drunk driver killing 5 people at 6 o'clock in the morning, creating unnecessary pain and suffering for the families of the dead. Roads are 4 everyone to share and use courteously - but evidently, no matter how courteous you may be (as a cyclist, jogger, or another driver) an irresponsible road user, worse - drunk driver - might kill you in an second.

  • Charlene - 2011-10-24 13:45

    Wow Jackie.. That is extremely poor taste!! Shame on you!

  • Phuti - 2011-10-24 13:52

    Hope they life cover for their famillies

  • Willem - 2011-10-24 14:23

    dear minister, I think it is a good idea, just think how it is going to feel when you are accused of murder for every accident due to potholes not fixed, and just think of the badly planned roadworks where people are injured in accidents daily. Perhaps the public will be able to put away some blue light brigade types as well. Minister I think your department is not one who can claim a clean slate, so be carefull, you might be caught by your own politicing.

  • hadedah - 2011-10-24 17:26

    difficult were they dressed with reflective material, was this in the evening. day or night? were they hit from behind? which I think was the case. what was the time of day of the accident? were they running towards the setting sun? there is a multitude of questions that could be asked.?? The driver of the vehicle was according to what I read Very Drunk!! What happened to all the mobile testing stations that were formally used to stop drunken driving thoughout our country.

  • Claire - 2011-10-25 08:37

    Drunk drivers are not only a risk to joggers and cyclist who according to your posts abuse the road. Every person is at risk if there is a drunk sharing the road with them.DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE its fairly simple.

  • Paulet - 2011-10-25 11:12

    'Homicide, where murder requires either the intent to kill – a state of mind called malice, or malice aforethought –or the knowledge that one's actions are likely to result in death; manslaughter, on the other hand, requires a lack of any prior intention to kill or create a deadly situation.'  Drunk driving is therefore not a lack of prior intention but more a decision to do so knowing what the outcome could be.

  • Paulet - 2011-10-25 11:16

    Interesting topic and statement by the minister… My dad was killed earlier this year in a very similar incident involving a drunk driver. He was also jogging one morning, minding his own business. Something he did every morning for many, many years. He was very fit man with a passion for life… We are still mourning his tragic death. I can truly empathise with these families. It is time to take drunk driving and speeding seriously and impose proper consequences. I'm afraid that a slap on the wrist and a fine is just not adequate for such a serious matter. The minister makes an interesting point. Everyone is very much aware that it is against the law to drink and drive. The decision to disregard the law and do it anyway means such action can be viewed as premeditated and/or intentional.  Of course in an accident there is always someone at fault but when drinking and driving you know the risks, so basically it is a matter of  already thinking that you are above the law and it demonstrates a clear disrespect of fellow human beings. The only way to make people really aware of the risks is by imposing proper punishment and improving police presence for these reckless and selfish actions otherwise we will see a lot more of these articles in future.

  • Mike - 2011-10-28 08:57

    Wow, I cant believe the immaturity of some of these comments ! If anyone has actually read the true events of what transpired on the morning they would of known that all the runners were running in single file on the opposite side of the road in direction of oncomming traffic.. this is the safest means of running on roads. This guy was clearly driving recklessly to drift into the oncomming lane and ploughed into the runners on the opposite side of the road. He could of quite easily hit a motorist / cyclist or anything for that matter. As a runner I am all for taking motorists into consideration and often wave appreciation on sections where we run close to motor vehiles on our training runs. There is no excuse for drunk driving and considering the guy had a 500SL Merc could he not have used Goodfellas or other means to get home that morning? The lives and families he has ruined (let alone his own) are simply not worth the party he had ! We need to make an example of this guy in an attempt to bring awareness to the dangers of drunk driving. What a waste and such a sad story ! Mike Frost - Sunninghill Striders.

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