Taxi driver 'refused to accept responsibility'

2012-02-28 13:08

Cape Town - Western Cape taxi driver Jacob Humphreys was in effect jailed for 20 years on Tuesday after being convicted of killing 10 children in a crash.

Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney imposed a 12-year prison sentence for each of the 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 12-year sentence for murder. This added in effect another eight years - bringing the total jail term to 20 years.

The driver's licence of the 56-year-old taxi driver was also cancelled with immediate effect.

"The court should be mindful of the difference between public opinion and public interest. The object of this sentence is not to serve public opinion but to serve the public interest," Henney said.

"Courts should exercise caution to not be swept away by emotional sentiment and media attention."

The sentence drew a gasp from friends and family in the gallery, with some bursting into tears.

Humphreys held a grave expression throughout the reading of the sentence, frowning deeply and pursing his lips.

Dressed in a light green shirt, grey pants and bright green tie, he sat in the dock straining to hear Henney's sentence, which was delivered in English.

Henney said that when deliberating over the sentence, he had taken into account Humphreys' personal circumstances, his offences and the interest of society.

He said that wilful and wanton disregard for the rules of the road showed a clear lack of respect for the safety of others.

"There was more than enough time for the accused to consider what he is doing... in deciding the type of sentence to be imposed the court must consider the degree of culpability or blameworthiness."

"I still do not know what motivated him to do these actions... but he refuses to accept responsibility."

Humphreys was convicted of murder, following an accident on August 25, 2010 in Cape Town.

While taking children to school, he overtook a row of cars at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks.

A train hit the taxi, killing 10 of the children he was taking to school. Four others were seriously injured.


  • StarStruck - 2012-02-28 13:12

    Don't drop the soap Jacob!!!

      Bardy - 2012-02-28 13:19

      "Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney imposed a 12-year prison sentence for each of the 10 murder charges, to run concurrently." Sorry if I sound stupid... 12 years for each murder. Mmmm. 12 x 10 = 12? Does not make sense??? Should it not have been 120 years? And then: "For the four attempted murder charges, the judge handed down a six-year prison sentence for each." 4 x 6 = 8??? Should have been 24... I am really confused. O_o?

      abner.malema - 2012-02-28 13:24


      Kai - 2012-02-28 13:26

      It means that he is serving all 10 x 12 years at the same time instead of 12 + 12 + 12 and so on. The same with the the attempted murder though they have been added on to the 12 years for murder.

      Janice - 2012-02-28 13:31

      Please dont shoot me for what Im about to say, but what if he really did have a blackout?

      Bardy - 2012-02-28 13:32

      Okay I get it... But its still a raw deal. He should have gotten the 120 years instead of 12!

      Bardy - 2012-02-28 13:36

      Just to top the concurrent thing... Since when can you serve more than one sentence in the same time period??? That does not make sense at all! So I would get the same sentence for killing one person and killing 20? This justice system is an absolute joke! I watched a reality show the other day about life in prison and this one guys was serving 500+ years for multiple murders in the US. How come we are so lenient?

      cheryl.kristiansen - 2012-02-28 13:43

      @Janice. Not sure if you are joking or not? If not, then in answer to your question; if he had blacked out the van would have veered all over the place and crashed into - whatever - perhaps one of the other cars stopped at the crossing. He put foot, went around the cars and drove straight over the railway lines. This would not been possible if he had blacked out. Besides, "blacked out" is what happens in movies and to celebrities trying to get out of trouble. Not something one hears of often in the real world!

      carel.jacobs - 2012-02-28 14:08

      In the end he gets sentenced for 1 act that killed 10 that is why it is concurrent, But he is supposed sit a live time

      njfada - 2012-02-28 14:14

      Hey Bardy - these guys try by all means to confuse us with those terms, I agree with you, he should have got 120 period no concurrency or anything like that.

      Silvana - 2012-02-28 14:21

      @Janice. Firstly, he consciously overtook the cars that had stopped at the intersection for the train to get through. Secondly, one of the kids that used his taxi to get to school, said he often used to play "chicken" with the train, much to everyone's amusement. I seriously doubt that he had a blackout.

      J.A.Rademan - 2012-02-28 14:38

      @Janice, during his blackout he overtook several cars, swerved around the boom etc. etc.......... No chance, 10 children killed 15 lives ruined just because he, like most taxi drivers is SA, was in a hurry and has a total disregard for life or rules. I believe he got off lightly.

      Janice - 2012-02-28 14:53

      Ok, I hear what you are all saying, sorry, it was only a thought, a "what if".

      Kala - 2012-02-28 16:06

      Can you believe it... They took away his drivers License. OH NO!!!!!!!! What was the point of doing that. He's not going to need it for the next 20 years

      Peter - 2012-02-28 16:23

      If all the 12 year sentences run concurrently,that's 12 years.If all the 6 year sentences run concurrently,that's 6 years. 12 + 6 equals 18 years not 20. Poor reporting....

      Barry - 2012-02-28 18:08

      A few more sentences such as this should be imposed on taxi drivers who's actions cause fatalities and who's lack of respect for passengers, other road users and the law is prevalent. Additionally the taxi owner where applicable, should also bear responsibility and carry insurance to compensate victims. If no insurance is carried all assets are forfeit and paid to victims. Perhaps then we may see improvement. Saddening that so many have to die before action is taken.

      John - 2012-02-28 19:29

      @ Peter. Not bad reporting... bad reading or understanding.... For each of the 4 attempted murders he got 6 years, 4 of which would run concurrent with the 12. Which leaves 2 years x 4 which totals 8 years. 8+12=20

      Pierre - 2012-02-29 07:04

      Justifying this verdict because he showed a “lack of remorse” is just BS. We need to reduce recklessness on the roads, but surely 20 years is ludicrously excessive. Next time it might be you making a reckless accident; an accident when speeding or over the alcohol limit after a year end function, maybe a U-turn at the wrong place. Then you can get slammed with 20 years! Think about that. This is absolutely madness. Emotions have clearly run away, and reason went out the window. (I really don’t like murder charges being misused for incidents that are clearly culpable homicide.)

  • Typersa - 2012-02-28 13:14

    I hope Bubba gets hold of you in your cell and he makes sure you do not walk out of that cell ever again. What you did was reckless and ignorant!! You deserve to be hanged!!

  • rodfor1435 - 2012-02-28 13:14

    News 24 has just confused me AGAIN: "Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney imposed a 12-year prison sentence for each of the 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 12-year sentence for murder. This added in effect another eight years - bringing the total jail term to 20 years." By my calculation his sentence should be 156 years?

      Deon - 2012-02-28 13:22

      The 10 x 12 years are also running concurrently = 12 years + 2 x 4 = 20.

      David - 2012-02-28 13:26

      The ten 12 year sentences run concurrently = 12 years Four of the six years on the four attempted murder charges run concurrently with the 12 year sentence. That leaves 2 extra years per charge = 8 years 12 + 8 = 20

      keaneharvey - 2012-02-28 13:28

      @rodfor1435... the phrase "in effect" should give it away. Factually he was sentenced to 156 years (that's all the sentences added together). Practically, he will spend only 20 years in prison.

      Hendrik - 2012-02-28 13:34

      I think it is the "big word" concurrently that has bowled RODFORD and Bardy middle stump.

      Bardy - 2012-02-28 13:44

      @ Hendrik - What bowled me middle stump is the mere fact that you can serve multiple sentences in the same time period! It just does not make any sense to me! So by killing 1 person, you will get the same as killing 20 or 30 people? It's a joke!

      Deon - 2012-02-28 13:59

      The only thing that saved him was the fact that it was not planned ahead. He did not wake up 1 day (like serial killers) and decide that for instance: "Today I am going to kill 10 children".

  • IAnon - 2012-02-28 13:15

    Life's cheap in SA, should have been 20y x 10.

  • chris.vanzyl - 2012-02-28 13:16

    Pappa wag vir jou!

  • Omrisho - 2012-02-28 13:17

    yeah ok, now apply this kinda justice to the abuse of the blue light brigades, yes?

  • Kelly - 2012-02-28 13:18

    And cancelled his drivers licence - yeah right he is going to need it in prison

      John - 2012-02-28 19:33

      Just means he can't sell it...

  • Anthony - 2012-02-28 13:27

    then why give him 20 yrs--give him life--useless judge

  • Carol - 2012-02-28 13:28

    @Bardy do you understand what 'concurrently' means?

      Bardy - 2012-02-28 13:58

      Yeah I get it now Carol... No need to be sarcastic...

  • djmain1 - 2012-02-28 13:29

    "He said that wilful and wanton disregard for the rules of the road showed a clear lack of respect for the safety of others." This is true for MOST taxi drivers - perhaps they should put them all in jail BEFORE they kill someone.

      marnusmnorval - 2012-02-28 13:34

      oh wait.. they already do.. CONSTANTLY

  • rodfor1435 - 2012-02-28 13:32

    @Deon and David..........thank you for clarifying that for me......Much appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hendrik - 2012-02-28 13:32

    Good job Judge the country can be proud of you. Clear message. You also pointed out that the offender refused to accept responsibility. Give the judge a Bells. (before the price goes up)

      Paul - 2012-02-28 16:13

      The price of Bells went up 5 seconds after our Min of Finance made the announcement...the same as smokes and petrol

  • Herman - 2012-02-28 13:32

    Reccless taxi drivers should be banned for life from driving taxis again. They put thier passangers and other motorists lifes in danger.

      Alida - 2012-02-28 13:49

      yes Herman, but if our country actually had proper public transport, trains, buses etc that are reliable, people would not have to put their childrens lives in the hands of some of these murderers.

      K0BUSL - 2012-02-28 13:58

      Yep and many are or have their licences revoked, just until they can buy another Fake ID to go with the new Fake Licence

      Paul - 2012-02-28 16:14

      Alida, They implementead a proper transport system in Johannesburg, and the Taxi Operators started shooting at the busses. Taxis are a law unto themselves, and the goverment are scared of the power they hold, thats why they get to ride for free on the Gauteng Toll system.

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-02-28 13:32

    Why is he moaning? he gets a bed, food, he will be in there with his whole family and in 2 years he is out. Compared to the pain of losing a loved one. Id say he got the better deal

      Heinrich.Rautenbach - 2012-02-28 14:01

      If you look at the electricity consumption chart of Eskom, prisons make out the biggest user (42%) of all domestic supply in this country. So he and his fellow brothers are responsible for you electricity increases as well. Good for the judge, no-one get more than 25 years in this country and that means out in three!!

      Mannie777 - 2012-02-28 15:11

      @Sputnik - he said domestic meaning industrial isn't included.

  • Dexter - 2012-02-28 13:33

    Who cares if you admit guilt, enjoy prison !!!

  • Clint - 2012-02-28 13:41


      Barker - 2012-02-28 14:23

      10 Life sentences running concurrently means he only serves 1 x life sentence. Life sentence in the new South Africa is equal to 25 years.

  • hardybrett - 2012-02-28 13:41

    South African arithmetic is wierd. (10x12)+(4x6)=20? Huh?

      Deon - 2012-02-28 14:06

      The 12 years x 10 are running concurrently (the same time) as well as 4 of each 6 years. (12 + 2 x 4)

      Rob - 2012-02-28 15:13

      Hardy, the report explains it clearly, just read slowly and look up the word concurrently.

  • Roann - 2012-02-28 13:47

    20 years for a traffic violation???? I think it was a accident he should not be in jail for a error in judgement. I can think of a few government officials that should be in jail.

      Deon - 2012-02-28 14:08

      He was found guilty on 10 counts of murder. It sounds as if he did this "Crossing the lines", hitting the booms on more than 1 occasion.

      marnusmnorval - 2012-02-28 14:11

      You must drive with ur eyes closed to not see how irresponsible these taxi drivers drive. .. We will just wait till its one of ur family that got hurt by a taxi then you will be singing a completely different tune.

      Roann - 2012-02-28 14:33

      yes he drove over the track but his aim was not to intentionally hurt himself or the kids it was a MISTAKE. Taking away his drivers for not following the rules yes. preventing him from ever transporting people again yes. but jail for 20 years for a accident no

      Silvana - 2012-02-28 14:34

      @Roann. I hope you're being facetious. It was NOT a frikking accident. He played chicken at that railway crossing on a regular basis. Some of the kids testified to that. You should thank whoever that your kid wasn't in that taxi. Would love to have seen your take on it if your kid was. Traffic violation, my a*$e.

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-02-28 14:44

      I tend to agree with Roann. He was stupid, yes. Careless, definitely. Reckless, without a doubt. i am sure he did not plan to kill the kids - this is the difference between homocide and murder. to sentence a 56 year old man to 20 years in prison for a stupid mistake is crazy - especially when a rapist gets off with 12 years...

      JohhnyBGood - 2012-02-28 14:46

      @Roann, I think it was an error for your parents to have raised you. Doktor said ' maak dood', parents heard 'maak groot'

      Roann - 2012-02-28 14:51

      very relevant argument you have there johnny

      Rob - 2012-02-28 15:22

      Roann, the guy purposefully passed other cars waiting and blatantly ignored the barrier. This is not a mistake, but a blatant disregard of road rules as well the lives of his passengers. To have stopped as the other cars did is called being responsible. You cannot seem to understand this, it was not just a traffic violation, it was a case of recklessness which cost others lives. This is a serious matter which cost the lives of children whose parents will never see them again.

      Roann - 2012-02-28 15:41

      yes he disregarded the rules in order to save time not to hurt anybody. he did not hurt or kill those kids by choice. it was a horrible mistake

      JohnSA02 - 2012-02-28 16:03

      He needs to be held accountable for his "error in judgement." Would you be singing the same tune if one of your children were in that taxi? Thank goodness the justice system has seen this correctly. We as a society are heading for event horizon as far as taking responsibility for ones actions goes, not good.

      Rob - 2012-02-28 16:06

      It is not a mistake to think the rules of the road do not apply to everyone. As a taxi driver on the road almost everyday, he knew what he was doing when he decided to ignore the barrier. It is the same as me deciding I don't like your face and hitting you on the nose and then saying it was a mistake. Then I just walk away. Dumb!

      Clive - 2012-02-28 20:01

      It was not an error of judgement nor an accident, as witnesses said he had done it before and joked about it, only this time ten kids died. Hardly a joke! There is a saying in industry: accidents don't just happen - they are caused, and he caused the deaths of ten children. He got less than he deserved. If a child of yours was killed by an idiotic driver, I'm sure you would call for more than a few years in jail for the culprit.

  • Louis LuLu'tjie Postma - 2012-02-28 14:05

    this sentence should be worse, this guy sucks!

  • Kabelo - 2012-02-28 14:11

    This is just too shocking and absolutely absurd. According to the law our lives are practically worthless then.

      Deon - 2012-02-28 14:22

      It could have been much worse, he and his family hoped for no time.

      Barker - 2012-02-28 14:25

      A while ago a woman from Johannesburg was fined R3 000 for stabbing her husband to death. Now that is what your life is worth.

  • Silvana - 2012-02-28 14:15

    I hope his driver's licence is cancelled for life. Now let's see what JubJub gets?

      Barker - 2012-02-28 14:27

      Did you not read the article. His licence was cancelled with immediate effect.

      Silvana - 2012-02-28 14:40

      @Barker. I did read the article, and nowhere does it say that his licence was cancelled FOR LIFE. That means, that when he comes out, he can apply for a licence again. Get my drift Barker?????

      J.A.Rademan - 2012-02-28 14:43

      Silvana, do you thing the judge meant his licence is only cancelled while he is in jail. A lot of driving he will be doing there.

      Rob - 2012-02-28 15:25

      Silvana, cancelled means just that! It no longer exists. You cannot just go and apply for another one. There is a record. Some mothers children!!

      Clive - 2012-02-29 11:08

      I agree, Silvana. The problem is, given the lack of law enforcement on our roads, he will resume driving when he gets out whether he has a licence or not. Probably operating an illegal taxi too.

  • Ian - 2012-02-28 14:20

    Good news. Funny how this case is overa nd done with in 6 months but Jub JUb is still going one and there to was plenty of witnesses. It just shows that the rich will always be treated differently to those who cannot afford a decent defence. So, get on with it and hang jub jub already. I mean that in all sense of the words.

  • Masana - 2012-02-28 14:21


      Jay - 2012-02-28 14:40

      Are you talking to the mirror ???

  • Gary - 2012-02-28 14:30

    "LACK OF RESPECT FOR OTHERS"..... typical Taxi driver. I hope they all see what happens when you drive like a tosser.

  • J.A.Rademan - 2012-02-28 14:33

    Pappa wag vir jou

  • Roy - 2012-02-28 14:38

    This is how cheap life is in South Africa. 2 Years per child This man should have got at least 10 years a child and should have served minimum of 30 years.

  • Cindy van Vuuren - 2012-02-28 14:52

    It is amazing when you drive to see the lack of respect for road signs and rules. Not only by taxi drivers but also by some motorist. They need to start a new campaign to stop ppl from buying there licenses. There is no respect on the road for safety anymore. It is scary what is going to happen in a few years if things are like this? Ppl are just going to drive as they like? They might as well make some of these traffic departments drive trough s to buy a license in a few years.

  • Prinqulesh - 2012-02-28 14:58

    News24 in about two weeks time. "Friends of Jacob", a new group are applying for early parole on medical grounds. It was noted that his eyes looked "glassy" during his sentencing. He is obviously sick and needs medical parole. :)

  • John - 2012-02-28 15:01

    Don't mass murderers usually get life without parole?

  • phillipa.mill - 2012-02-28 15:09

    Lets see what happens to the other taxi driver that dragged that lady under his taxi

  • Mfundo - 2012-02-28 15:14

    Papa waag vir jou, lol

  • Jaco - 2012-02-28 15:16

    jul maak my dag deur so te comment. het jul nie werk nie?

  • Ashen - 2012-02-28 15:20

    Do the crime, then do the time...well deserved sentence. Although, I would have handed down a life sentence, if not then the death sentence. Guess this will do

  • Gavin - 2012-02-28 15:27

    ok, so he'll be eligible for parole in about 2 years time - if he doesn't get shanked in prison that is...

  • William - 2012-02-28 15:28

    Have any of us throught what the perants are still going through?????? and will go through till the end of there lives!!!!!!!!

  • Minnie - 2012-02-28 15:44

    I just hope he remains in prison for 20 years without parole. He took away lives, so he does not deserve to be part of society. I just hope when people have no regards for others, hope this is a lesson to those who have no respect for others on the road.

  • Dudley - 2012-02-28 15:55

    Lit a candle for each child impatient driver has now created unexplainable saddnes not only for childrens family but his own.

  • Desmond - 2012-02-28 16:12

    JACOB Humphreys is where he belongs. Now foe JACOB Zuma.

  • Mart - 2012-02-28 16:17

    I want to ask the question that begs asking....where are the law enforcement agencies when the taxi drivers who behave like this dunce do their thing day in and day out ! Who owns the road? From what I witness daily it is the taxi industry and woe betide anyone who is opposed to their lawlessness. The above average road user does understand the economics of speed x volume = profit for a taxi operator, and generally accepts a closed gap here or there but I'm afraid that far to many mutants are permitted behind the wheel of a taxi and this is bringing that side's average down.

  • phillip.havenga - 2012-02-28 18:44

    He deserved a far harsher punishment for his deliberate destruction of these childrens lives. There is no excuse for what he did.

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-02-28 21:24

    Hang them all, let God sort them out.

      Mildly_Amused - 2012-02-29 11:15

      Gosh, you must be very religious... You seem to have missed that part in the Bible where they explained the 10 Commandments though... "thou shalt not kill"

  • Adair - 2012-02-28 22:55

    Maybe this will serve as a deterrent to others who drive without regard for the lives of others.

  • Colin - 2012-02-29 02:12

    To simplify matters, Humphreys got 12 years for murder. The prosecution and the Judge deemed his action so reckless that it amounted to murder and then decided murder was only "worth" twelve years. This is as obscene as Humphreys' driving - one wonders what the parents are thinking. Perhaps the justice-evasion obsessed Jacob 783 and his mobster ANC gang should be conducting a review of sentencing of the guilty rather than going after the ConCourt for opposing their power-grab.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-02-29 05:58

    He should have paid with his life... 10 futures gone he shouldnt havent one either

  • David - 2012-02-29 06:36

    HANG HIM!!! Why should we pay for him to live for the next 20 years!!!

  • Edward - 2012-02-29 07:13

    only 20 years for killing 10 children. no wonder our society is getting worse. this chap should have been hanged in the court room. now i must pay for his upkeep for at least 12 years untill he comes out on bail. in jail he is going to learn how to be an efficient burglar, embezzler ......

  • LindiBleu - 2012-02-29 10:15

    Alife for a life. you kill my child, I kill yours. or someone close to you. call me extreme, but there is no justice in losing a child and he goes and chills in jail for 10 years. yes, 10 years cos he will be out then for good behaviour or sum such siiiiit. I do not care about his conscience, whether he loved them like his own, if I was one of those mothers - I would systematically wipe out all his children. in SA, a child is no longer sacred, they are raped, they are killed with impunity. it is time we take a stand - we cannot lose our children to foolish people who disregard their lives and consider them expendable. a life for a life.

  • pages:
  • 1