Regulate bungee industry - court

2012-02-17 11:52

Johannesburg - The owners of a bungee jumping company and two employees were found guilty of culpable homicide at a hearing in the Graskop Magistrate's Court, according to a report on Friday.

Johannesburg - The owners of a bungee jumping company and two employees were found guilty of culpable homicide at a hearing in the Graskop Magistrate's Court, Beeld reported on Friday.

This followed a 2010 incident in which a 29-year-old woman, Jo-Ann Samuels, was killed during a tandem bungee jump with her husband, Hendrik Samuels, after a rope malfunctioned and slipped.

Jo-Ann, who landed on rocks, was killed instantly, and her husband was seriously injured.

District magistrate Dries Lamprecht on Thursday told Vuka Marketing, the owners of bungee company, Big Swing, and employees Doctor Mnisi and Al Martins, that they were negligent.

Legislation needed

Lamprecht said there was an urgent need for legislation to regulate adventure sports like bungee jumping.

"Current measures are woefully inadequate, and these kinds of sports should not even be allowed in the country," he said, adding that signing an indemnity form before a jump was "not worth the paper it is printed on".

Lamprecht fined Vuka Marketing R300 000, suspended for five years, while Mnisi and Martins were each fined R100 000, suspended for a year.

Vuka Marketing was ordered to pay Hendrik Samuels compensation of R120 000 within a week.

  • Moca - 2012-02-17 11:59

    absolutely 100% in agreement. Any industry not regulated will at times find loop holes just to slack safety measures and endanger us all. These okes are primarily just out to make money and with no oversight on safety will get off scottfree once a tragedy like this occurs again.

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-02-17 12:03

    Exactly like the taxi industry, which does whatever the hell it wants, regardless of the consequences...

      Klipkop - 2012-02-17 12:54

      I do agree as well, but I find it strange that a porn lover and anti-nanny state oke like you would agree here. There is hope it seems for rational and logical thinking. For arguments sake, you want to regulate the taxi (& bungee) industry but free porn for all is okay (your previous posts) regardless of consequences.. a little bit double standard like in my book.

  • Brainbow Gold - 2012-02-17 12:06

    The fine does not seem to correlate with the sentence and it appears as if the guilty have been let off the hook.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-02-17 12:28

      Paying a seriously injured man R120 000 who also lost his wife in the accident??? And the owners walk away with suspended sentences? What a disgrace.

  • braden.tuohey - 2012-02-17 12:08

    Get the facts straight first News.24,this was NOT a bungy accidcent, it was a gorge SWING . However I strongly believe the industry as a whole ( all adventure tourism ) needs standards!

  • Monique - 2012-02-17 12:16

    WHAT? Why are they being fined R500 000 and the compensation to the widower is only R120 000...who will be receiving the R500 000 then? the *#&$@*#( governement?

      Deon - 2012-02-17 12:25

      No one, it is a suspended sentence.

      Mzwandile - 2012-02-17 12:31

      Monique read carefully before you starting blaming the government, the only money to be paid is R120 000.

      Monique - 2012-02-17 12:53

      Ok sorry my apologies I'm not a law expert! clearly I don't understand it. @Mzwandile, go figure, a lot of the fups in this country...we have the government to thank for.

  • Sunett - 2012-02-17 12:20

    "..these kinds of sports should not even be allowed in the country...". I don't agree with that! Yes, there needs to be a serious up in the safety standards, and the whole industry needs to be regulated, but I don't think the magistrate should yap about something he's never tried.

      Mark - 2012-02-17 12:43

      Can i tie the knot when the goverment tries it.

      Mhlophe - 2012-02-17 12:46

      I don't agree with this being a sport, seriously it's comparable to riding a roller coaster. That aside, any activity with these consequenses needs to be regulated and operators certified. The compensation was most likely for the guys injuries. He would have a strong case should he wish to sue for the wrongful death of his wife. Still sad though. RIP

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-17 12:42

    We, as a country, have a problem if we only put proper law in place after an incident happened. Specifically when it is an extreme sport. Let me rephrase. Most countries in the world have a problem....... We(humans) are failing ourselves when it comes to this.

  • Colin - 2012-02-17 12:47

    Tragic event that highlights the need for strong regulations created by the very folk who have been plying this style of adventure activities for years now. You would have heard/seen the event in Victoria Falls recently ( 31.12.2011 ) on their bungee ( not gorge swing ) jump accident. Not only do they base their entire safety regulations of world best practice but aftr this incident will put in place world leading safety standards. It's all about integrity when you are offering adventure sports/activities and one mistake can cost you your reputation. Ciao. Colin J. FRYER, Cape Town.

  • braden.tuohey - 2012-02-17 13:01

    It would be nice to see the press report responsibly by obtaining the facts. This was NOT a bungee accident, the owners do NOT own a bungee company, the two were NOT doing a tandem bungee, its no wonder legislation is not in place when so much confusion is being caused by over eager journalists tryng to sensationalise such stories to sell them. Sure, bungee needs legislation, quite obviously so does gorge/bridge swinging, as does sharkcage diving, and any other adventure activity offered to clients, so that we can maintain safety in a controlable way

  • John - 2012-02-17 13:48

    This needs to be viewed in perspective... ALL sports have an element of risk. Look at the number of injuries in school rugby, cycling, wrestling, boxing, white water rafting, kloofing, paragliding or hang-gliding, etc. To say these sports should not be allowed in SA is absurd. Anyone doing bungee, or any other sport for that matter, realizes that there is an element of risk and must be prepared to accept that risk. You can put as many safety measures as you wish in place, but accidents are exactly that. It needs to be seen in relation to the number or people who have jumped over the years relative to the number of injuries....

  • John - 2012-02-17 13:49

    If you don't like extreme sports... don't participate.

  • Marnus - 2012-02-17 15:10

    I've done the Big Swing 4 times before and had the most fun ever.I knew what the consequences would be if something went wrong.Feeling sorry for the lady that died,but still this is the person jumping of the cliffs choice!!!

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