NPA: Treat reckless drivers aggressively

2012-02-29 13:33

Cape Town - An "aggressive approach" of charging irresponsible drivers with murder instead of culpable homicide was paying off, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the approach was yielding the desired result of heavier sentences and he believed it was sustainable.

The NPA welcomed the 20-year jail term handed down to taxi driver Jacob Humphreys in the Cape High Court on Tuesday.

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.

A train hit the taxi, killing 10 of the children. Four others were seriously injured.

The NPA said it was happy it had brought justice to the family and friends of those involved in the crash.

It welcomed Judge Robert Henney's dismissal of an application for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence.

"Throughout the case we have argued that there is only one sentence justifiable for this type of crime and that was direct imprisonment," Ntabazalila said.

"We have argued that he was running away from taking responsibility and there was a serious lack of remorse on his side."

The NPA emphasised that not all drivers involved in car accidents would be charged with murder.

"Each case will be judged on its own merits."

  • Cast53 - 2012-02-29 13:47

    I believe that if you know that your actions can result in somebody getting killed then it is premeditated murder if somebody get killed - Skipping a stop street or red robot, driving into oncoming traffic to get ahead going straight out of an turning lane etc. If you get caught doing anything that can cause the death of another person see above it should be attempted murder.

      Marion - 2012-02-29 13:49

      @Cast53 - Agree with you. A motor vehicle is like a loaded gun and if you use it irresponsibly and that results in deaths then murder is the only sanction.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-29 14:26

      @Cast53 - I am with you, lets see if this standard are applicable to members of the Black Taxi Association

      alansmartSnr - 2012-02-29 14:50

      I aggree entirely.. but this should apply to the attempted murder and potential murders of the Blue Light Brigade. They should not be above the law and that is the impression one gets when you come into contact with them. In fact their employers should also be held culpable. Why is the Government condoling these probable and potential acts of murder?

      NlggaWitattitude - 2012-02-29 14:51

      Word @Cast53 I agree with you

      Cast53 - 2012-02-29 15:07

      And then to put the cherry on the cake lets see if this will apply to Police, Blue light brigades, politicians etc as it seem that they are above the law (Police arrested an MP the other day put him in the back of the van when they were told he is an MP they apologised and put him in the front, the police vehicle that killed the cyclist - no arrest and the list goes on)

  • Leon - 2012-02-29 13:48

    Taxi drivers take note!!

      Johan - 2012-02-29 14:07

      Those taxi drivers that overtake in the leftside safety lane and then push back into the traffic lane should take note!

  • Herman - 2012-02-29 13:52

    Yes and charge all corrupt and fraudulent government officials with crimes against humanity!

  • Martin - 2012-02-29 13:55

    So are you going to charge housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi and driver Semitsi Modomai with attempted murder?

      Artur - 2012-02-29 13:58

      We all wish they did, but as we all know the government is above the law, they dont serve the people but expect the people to serve them.

      Martin - 2012-02-29 14:14

      I thought not. I guess it is okay to put someone in a coma if you are late for a meeting. Or is it only okay if you are part of the government? If you really want to save lives get rid of blue light brigades and make law enforcement actually follow the rules of the road. Lead by example. Once you have sorted that out make the actual roads safe, especially at roadworks, get rid of unroadworthy vehicles, fix our disastrous licensing system, get rid of k53 which was designed for horse and buggies, introduce advanced driving into the licensing system, teach people the keep left, pass right rule(The most important rule on our roads and no one follows it), stop wasting time and lives on your speed traps and cameras that only serve to make money, get the countries rail network working again so that there are less trucks on the road!! and get a public trnsport system specifically for people going out at night to reduce drunk drivers finally actually prosecute drunk drivers. Also make taxis follow the rules of the road!!! if they don't shutdown their businesses!!

  • Edward Serfontein - 2012-02-29 13:58

    20 years for the death of 10 kids?!!! Do you call that harsh?? He should be glad that the suffering families did not take matters into their own hands, then he'll see what "Aggressive Response" is.

  • arcticencounter - 2012-02-29 14:13

    I hope this is going to apply to JubJub Maarohonye's case as well, despite his mother being Winnie Mandela's best friend. Or is it going to be a case of "they could not reasonably predict the outcome of their actions because they were under the influence of cocaine and morphine"? As it is, the investigating officer has been shot dead in December 2011 and this case has been dragging on and wasting court time and taxpayers' money for an eternity. Hoping we will forget about it, no doubt.

      Sipho Futshane - 2012-02-29 15:09

      Its so fu*ckin true. This case been dragging for so long. These f*ckers don't have remorse, they still have the guts to look stylish. While the victims' families are still trying to deal with the loss of their kids. Sies!!

  • Mike - 2012-02-29 14:19

    What ever happened to the Merc 4x4 driver that killed the joggers in Midrand

      Clementine - 2012-02-29 14:43

      Indeed, so many fall thru the crax *SMH*

  • Danny - 2012-02-29 14:26

    If we want the taxi industry to tow the line, then the government MUST legislate a new VERY STRICT set of traffic laws, and they must apply to me and every motorist as well. make the fines exhobantly high and apply a points system and take their licences away and confiscate the vehicles. Also apply the 100 kph speed limit for people carriers more strictly by making it law to fit a governor to each and every vehicle, and make it law for them to fit a tracker to monitor speed, etc.

  • rofras - 2012-02-29 14:26

    stop braging!!!, deal with the idiot taxi drivers 1st then you can brag.

  • Alistair - 2012-02-29 14:40

    Frankly, the NPA only gets to mop up where the Police want to do their job. For every court case like this there are 10 000 or more incidents of laws being broken by taxi's. Prosecuting the one's that are in the media spotlight does not solve the bigger problem of all the idiots that are still out there ... crossing on a red light, jumping the queue from the wrong lane, stopping where they shouldn't, cutting you off by pulling off their yellow line parking spot, etc. This issue has little to do with the NPA and everything to do with the Police. Safer roads don't result from harsher prosecutions. They result from better Law Enforcement.

  • Dhavandran - 2012-02-29 14:45

    i hope that this will also apply to the "blue light brigade"

  • Pen - 2012-02-29 15:48

    Oh Pleeez, the taxi industry is handled with kit gloves. It may have something to do with the MP's MEC's owning their own taxi fleet on the side. Nothing like supplementing you meagre salaries with the lives of dead children.

  • Abdul - 2012-03-30 15:39

    Agree with the NPAs stance....there is just too much recklessness on the road....just go take a look at the website fatalmoves dot com

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