Tragic twist in jogger's crash death

2011-10-25 07:16

Johannesburg - While the man who allegedly killed five joggers in a hit-and-run accident appeared briefly in the Pretoria Regional Court on Monday, one of the same court’s senior prosecutors went to the mortuary to identify the body of his wife, who is one of the victims.

Nomvula Dumako, 35, the wife of Trott Mphahlele, who had a sombre birthday yesterday, was one of the five joggers who were fatally hit by a Mercedes Benz ML500 early on Saturday morning.

The accused, Sibusiso Langa, 44, a mechanical engineer of Kosmosdal in the south of Centurion, faces five charges of murder, one of attempted murder and one of driving while drunk.

A police statement reads that the tall, slender accused lost control of his luxury vehicle on Saturday at about 06:00 - swerving across to road to race head-on into oncoming traffic.

He then ploughed into a group of joggers near the corner of Olifantsfontein Road and Lever Street, just north of Midrand.

Given Mills, 30, from Bezuidenhout Valley in Johannesburg; Moroeshi Mokoatsi, 34, Reneilwe Lesenyeho, 31, and Gaolojwe Isaac Tlale, 37, died with Dumako.

A sixth jogger, Abigail Sthengile, 29, of Northriding in Randburg, is in a critical condition in the Sunninghill Hospital.

Several court officials attended yesterday's short hearing in a gesture of solidarity with their colleague.

One of them told Beeld that they would not be able to prosecute the case because they would not be able to maintain objectivity.

Langa, who appeared tense and licked his lips often, was dressed in a neat, white shirt and black suit.

The chief control prosecutor, advocate Matric Luphondo, requested that the case be postponed until Friday for a formal bail application.

This will give the state and police time to confirm Langa's address and possible previous convictions.

Regional magistrate Maryke de la Rey explained to Langa that if he is found guilty of murder, the law on minimum sentences stipulates that a first-time offender must get 15 years' imprisonment.

After the case adjourned Langa was taken to the New Lock prison in Pretoria.

He seemed surprised when - dressed in a more comfortable shirt - he was met by a sea of photographers outside the court.

Friends of the victims who attended the court case said they were glad "that justice can now take its course".

  • winston.mullany - 2011-10-25 07:32

    Hope they burn this bastard!

      Ann - 2011-10-25 08:26

      "Langa, who appeared tense and licked his lips often," - from what I saw on TV last night he looked pretty calm and collected. He was even smiling for the camera. It is dreadfully sad that five vibrant peoples lives were taken by this man who clearly should know better at his age that "drinking and driving do not go together". He should face the full might of the law.

      channing.froom - 2011-10-25 10:49

      15 years for killing 5 people ........... thats a bit light, he should be hung or something !!

      Joanne - 2011-10-25 11:18

      Maybe luxury car dealers need to throw in advanced driving courses with each sale - seriously, anyone driving something that can go over 140 that weighs tons needs to have the skills to manage it. Seeing as SA generally doesn't believe in law or consequence, perhaps we just have start equipping people for driving drunk?

      modumo - 2011-10-25 11:35

      @Channing, as a first offender one of the charges of murder will get him 15 years and the other 4 he will receive as a second time offender. I stand to be corrected. He will not get 15 years for 5 lives.

      Deon - 2011-10-25 11:55

      Most luxury cars nowadays are Absa's cars.

      Rinesh - 2011-10-28 15:42


  • Henri - 2011-10-25 07:35

    OOOoo cant be good for him, even though he desirves everything coming his way !!!!

      richard.hipkin - 2011-10-25 10:49

      @Shadoz, and no amount of medical help can help you either... moron.

      Aisha - 2011-10-25 11:43

      @Shadoz, he holds a BSc in engineering that he got at the University of Cape Town, he is probably more educated than you are.

      gillian.sanderson - 2011-10-25 12:21

      @Aisha - his BSc aint gonna help him now though is it!?

      Hennie - 2011-10-25 12:50

      @Aisha. In his case the Bsc probably stands for "Baie Scotch" of which he had to much before murdering innocent people

  • Ian - 2011-10-25 07:40

    conflict of interest, the prosecuter might be taken off the case, i hope not, i hope he nails the dronkgat

      Felix - 2011-10-25 07:44

      Don't think he's part of the prosecution on this case, just works at that court house.

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-10-25 07:41

    Oh how tragic. My heart goes out to him, but how wonderful that his friends are rallying around him to show their support. I hope seeing the sod nailed by the court brings him some closure. RIP

  • pws69 - 2011-10-25 07:45

    Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. Your loved ones taken away from you unnecessarily.

  • Robert - 2011-10-25 07:46

    Now he can drink water for 15 years - basterd

  • Amanda-Leigh - 2011-10-25 08:23

    "Regional magistrate Maryke de la Rey explained to Langa that if he is found guilty of murder, the law on minimum sentences stipulates that a first-time offender must get 15 years' imprisonment. " So if you murder 5 innocent people, but you are a first time offender, you get off lightly?? If you knowingly get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle whilst intoxiated that shoud be premeditated murder.

      MissGremlin - 2011-10-25 10:21

      @ Braams. Frequently the sentences are set to run concurrently (at the same time) and not consecutively (one after the other). So IF he gets 15 years per person, it still works out to 15 years.

  • michelle.e.magson - 2011-10-25 08:37

    Is there actually a question 'IF'? he chose to drive under the influence of alcohol, ergo he is guilty as sin. It wa a concious decision, pre-meditated if you will. And while we're at it, friends? Barman? Why did someone not take his keys away? Where was he drinking, and why did no one stop him?

      Marion - 2011-10-25 10:51

      The law states quite clearly that one may not serve alcohol to someone who is obviously already drunk. If you do you can lose your liquor license. Yet barmen, and the owners of bars, continue to break this law and don't lose their liquor licenses. Something very wrong with our implementation of the law. And, as others have said, if you start drinking knowing that you will be driving and that you therefore could be a lethal weapon on the road, you should be smacked with pre-meditated murder. Way too many people have lost loved ones due to irresponsible drunkards who insist they can drive when they can't even speak without slurring.

      daan.vanwyk - 2011-10-25 11:08

      My sentiments exactly! The barman and whoever sae him leave in a drunken condition without stopping him, should be co-accused!

  • Tintin - 2011-10-25 08:41

    isn't it sad to think that so many of us do what he did, less the accident. we drink ourselves to a pulp, without giving thought to the potential consequences. i've hit barriers while sleeping behind a wheel, following a binging session. so this could have been just about anybody. before you pass moral judgments, be grateful that you never had to go through this unfortunate situation. my condolences to the families for their losses,.

      michelle.e.magson - 2011-10-25 09:09

      really? sympathy?

      Peter - 2011-10-25 09:18

      That is an honest statement Tintin, now I hope you have seen how easily you can stuff someone elses life up by doing what you do - wake up man !!!

      IAmTheDarkPrince - 2011-10-25 09:35

      I've been there as well. Oh how people love to judge. Bitter. Bitter. Hypocrites.

      Dorothea - 2011-10-25 09:43

      tintin, you are what is wrong with south africa. you may as well go into public spaces waving a loaded gun around.

      Linda - 2011-10-25 10:13

      Tintin, it couldn't have been "just about anybody." I don't drink and drive and I don't have any friends or family members who drink and drive. I will pass moral judgement on anyone who gets behind a wheel drunk and that includes you.

      Lionel - 2011-10-25 10:54


      Marion - 2011-10-25 10:56

      @Tintin - you get no sympathy from me if you drive drunk. Not even one iota. You are a reckless and irresponsible individual who deserves to have your license revoked sooner rather than later. You still have the cheek to admit that you drive drunk and drag the rest of us who don't into your cesspit! It wasn't so long ago that someone else ploughed into a group of joggers. And all those who 'liked' your post are no better than you are. My sincere condolences to the families of these joggers. May they RIP.

      Joanne - 2011-10-25 11:21

      um, speak for yourself, Tintin - I'm not sure why you imagine that we are all law-breakers gambling with everyone else's life. We really do use the designated-driver system.

      Godesha - 2011-10-25 13:06

      @Tintin. I hope this serves as a lesson to you if nothing else. And please in future do not generalise and say "we". Not everybody is as stupid and irresponsible as what you are. Shame on you for drinking and driving.

      Godesha - 2011-10-25 13:12

      @Lionel. Unfortunately the drunk driver seldom gets hurt or taken out.

      Anthony - 2011-10-25 13:47

      I rarely have a drink, and if I do it is either at home or at a friends place where I spend the night, I never drink to a "pulp", and I most certainly don't put the lives of my wife and children at risk for a few moments of pleasure on the lips. You say this could have been you, will this now make you think twice about getting behind a wheel the next time you get drunk. You cannot justify this action no matter what spin you put on it. From my count there a 5 families that have been broken and a 6th hanging in the balance. I wish the surviving jogger a speedy recovery and condolences to the affected families.

  • Natalie - 2011-10-25 08:48

    Langa should be given a life sentence - he has,in his drunking state given 5 families a life sentence of living without the spouses,moms,dads,siblings.

  • sihleh.mthethwa - 2011-10-25 08:49

    My condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. SA needs to have stricter laws against drunken driving.Let's see how long this case will drag out since the Jub Jub case is taking forever to be concluded when all the evidence is there for everyone to see.

      Dorothea - 2011-10-25 09:55

      why is it always up to the threat of punishment to sort people out? very sad indeed. some of us just know the difference between right and wrong. we are driven my morals and not the thought of rotting in jail for the rest of our lives.

  • Glen - 2011-10-25 08:51

    So the Jub-Jub "MUST" also get 15 years in prison as a first time offender? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • MissGremlin - 2011-10-25 09:01

    Seems like this lad is going to have a tough time of it. I have said it before, and will happily say it again. The murder charge should stick. He knowingly drove his vehicle drunk, and thus, knowingly turned his vehicle into a lethal weapon. Forthought and intent.

  • Anton - 2011-10-25 09:09

    "allegedly killed five joggers in a hit-and-run accident", why "allegedly", it is a fact that he was driving and a fact that the people are dead. Shoddy writing.

      jason.dutoit - 2011-10-25 09:23

      it is perfectly good writing. until the court finds him guilty, the incident has to be alleged.

      Anton - 2011-10-25 15:26

      Not true Jason. One only needs to use the term 'alledged' if there is not 100% certainty that a person is culpable. In this case the driver has admitted driving the car that hit the runners. It is only "alledged" that he was drunk, that still needs to be proven. It is also shoddy writing as it was not a hit and run, as the car was un driveable from the scene.

  • Lerato - 2011-10-25 09:10

    15 years in jail isn't good enough for this devil. He deserves to burn in hell. I am glad I didn't attend the hearing yesterday. I would have ended up in the same cell with him after throwing a brick to his head as abviously there isn't a single brain cell in it. I will never see my friend because of him.

      karen.glautier - 2011-10-25 14:19

      My condolences Lerato. Words have no meaning here, so I send you a cyber hug! ((o))

  • Alan - 2011-10-25 09:11

    We have a culture of drinking and driving in this country that needs to be stopped! And unfortunately the only way to stop our selves is fear – an example must be made of Langa - hopefully it will stop one of us from being the guilty one next time!

      MissGremlin - 2011-10-25 09:28

      Actually, we have a culture of drinking in this country. The driving is a by product. Companies have "span bou" and allow alcohol. Companies have Christmas/year end functions and allow alcohol. We have braais and parties and rugby watching get togethers, and always the alcohol. Not just small amounts either. South Africans are into binge drinking, shooters, suitcases and alcopops - you name it, we drink it. Our government officials are well known for feasting on Johnny Walker Blue and so it goes on and on. We see the immediate effect when 5 joggers get mowed down, but in the background, we have liver failure, alcoholism, heart disease and pancreatic cancer - ALL of which are costing us a fortune. Driving up the prices of medical aid, government subsidies to hospitals. The list is endless. We need to do something fast.

      Penny - 2011-10-25 10:51

      OMW MissGremlin - it's not just South Africa that has alcohol. The rest of the world also has intoxicating liquid refreshment, it's just we don't get to see their local news on what the populace are getting up to when they've over-imbibed.

      MissGremlin - 2011-10-25 11:02

      @ Penny. I don't live in "other countries". I can however comment on the damage I see happening in South Africa, because of alcohol abuse...

      Lara - 2011-10-26 20:48

      Mis Gremlin, please check your facts. Pancreatic cancer has nothing to do with alcohol, lots to do with smoking. My mom and several other people I knew died of this cancer and were hardly what you would call drinkers. Smoked though.

  • David - 2011-10-25 09:28

    he should pay R750 000 for each victim. if bees roux can so can everyone. the judgement in that case set a precedence for all homocide cases which involve drunk driving. he can easily argue discrimination if he gets jail time.

      ronald.stilianou - 2011-10-25 10:07

      No David, the family of the deceased in the Bees Roux case settled the case for R750 000. Why is it so difficult for you to understand that?

      Zebedi - 2011-10-25 10:45

      Ronald, it is difficult for me to understand too. How does the family of the deceased get to make a "settlement" of R750 000, was the man not being charged by the state for murder? Why did the state drop the charge after some cash changed hands? Regardless of whether a private compensation claim was entertained, the accused should still be held to account by the state, even if only to keep the rest of us safe from an obviously violent man.

      Merven - 2011-10-25 14:27

      @Zebedi, that case is not as simple as you think, the state started with a murder case of which the defendant counter with a self defence response. After all the cop was armed and Bees not, also the cop was driving away from the police station and Bees' credit card was abused, wich in return put a huge question mark over the police's motives. A case like that will go on for easily 5-10 years and will cost millions. Also that can lead to another case of the Police chief being sued for his officers misconduct. That is why you don't hear anyting of the other cops.

  • Alison - 2011-10-25 10:46

    GOODFELLAS people - yes we dont have public transport but these services are avalailable and i am sure he could have afforded to use them!!!

      Marion - 2011-10-25 11:04

      Well said Alison. I know people who like to party and they pay a monthly subscription and then the cost of the trip in order to be ferried from a party when they have had too much to drink. Even if their only motivation is to prevent the loss of their licenses, it is a good thing to do. This guy is a mechanical engineer so he isn't short on cash. Not only has he 'allegedly' killed five people, he has thrown his own career down the tubes.

  • Clive - 2011-10-25 10:57

    I know it is very sad but maybe now something can be done about this common practise in midrand, driving on wrong side of street to avoid traffic and get ahead at next robot or intersection. many times get sworn at buy these illegal thugs when you block them and you have ironically have right of way.

  • Batho-Batho - 2011-10-25 10:57

    This is high time we citizens of SA we realised that having fun means we must drink or party until early hours of the morning. We need to be responsible to ourselves & fellow beings. Being a "Black Diamond" doesn't give you liberty to be reckless on the road!!!I hope he'll have ample time to reflect on his irresponsible behaviour when he is in jail and deprived of previleges he took granted of.

  • Pamela - 2011-10-25 11:10

    I do not think he ran through those ladies purposely, he was drunk that's the only charge they should charge him with, to set a record for people not to drive under the influence of alcohol. only feeling sorry for his family , things like these can happen to anyone lets not dramatise it if we are perfect.

      Joanne - 2011-10-25 11:26

      While I understand your comment, Pamela, I don't agree that these things can happend to anyone - as I don't drink and drive, it will never happen to me. I could have a crash for another reason, but then it would be a real accident. Getting behind a wheel drunk means that you are already breaking the law, and the law exists to stop a dangerous practice: driving drunk. If the law recognises that driving drunk causes death and injury, we should believe it.

      Pamela - 2011-10-25 13:28

      If he was just an ordinary person you wouldn't have commented like this , but because he drives an ML you want to prove a point What happened to the Blue bulls Rugby player that killed a policemen. We are living double standards.

      Simon - 2011-10-25 13:49

      Pamela, you are comparing two totally different cases. The cop was not totally blameless in the first case that’s why the prosecutors had a problem getting the accused convicted, in this perfectly innocent people were killed by someone BREAKING THE LAW. If you break the law you deserve what you get... I think people need to go a read about a case before making wild accusations or thinking that people got off lightly..

      sandra.j.rennie - 2011-10-25 14:57

      If there ever was a stupid comment, Pamela, it is yours. Does it really matter that the drunken fool drove a ML? Would it make you feel better if he drove a Ford Fiesta. The fact that he was totally drunk and killed these ladies is the point here. He should be punished accordingly for killing people WHILE UNDER the influence of alcohol!

  • Magezi - 2011-10-25 11:47

    Drinking and driving is always a bad combination. Praying for real justice in circumstances like these

  • alexandra.nett - 2011-10-25 12:30

    @Aisha......get over yourself are a racist and a fool..... "white bloggers"!....indeed..... and as for your comments over BEE and hard well as the comments about his degree and your slating of another party over their lack of education.......since you seem so qualified to comment, put this one in your pipe to smoke....A DEGREE DOES NOT MAKE YOU SUPERIOR.....IT DOES NOT EXCLUDE YOU FROM BEING FOOLISH....and oh yes.....heres one for you ..... MONEY DOES NOT BUY CLASS!

  • Marius - 2011-10-25 12:37

    this is really sad...

  • lasherza - 2011-10-25 12:39

    5 by 5 foot cell, no window for the rest of his life. or just put him down. low life scum

  • sihleh.mthethwa - 2011-10-25 12:43

    I hope he becomes someone's b*tch in prison

  • Melinda - 2011-10-25 13:04

    This guy is F#$%ed he killed a prosecutors wife,

  • Babalwa - 2011-10-25 13:09


      Anthony - 2011-10-25 14:12

      Many do not see the aftermath of the loss of lives, the effect compounds to the the children if any, and their children, the effect of losing a sibling, parent, friend or family member in this way is traumatic. Condolences to you

  • Mavis - 2011-10-25 13:12

    Well well i wonder now where is Mike and his gang that thought we all stupid to say MURDER charges for this drunken boofoen

      Mike - 2011-10-25 19:05

      Also I don't think you are stupid I'm am simply aware of the fact that you are a layperson and not legally qualified to comment on whether it is murder or culpable homicide.

  • VOVO247 - 2011-10-25 13:32

    The sad part to all this is the guy isn't a born, trained killer... Makes you think how much the "no regret friday" campaign makes sense. This guy, with one stupid, mindless decision, destroyed 5 lives, wrecked the lives of 5 families, & in effect ended he's own life & career. Fact is, there is still a difference between a demon that breaks into your home & murders your family intentionaly & brutally, & this mindless freak accident... The end result is the same, but yeah... Cant help to feel sorry for the guy, so many of us chance it after too many drinks, bribe our way through, & 99% of us make it home to sleep. This poor sod is the 1% that never got so lucky...

  • pierre.hough1 - 2011-10-25 14:02

    How tragic! My sympathy with the next-of-kin

  • Kyle - 2011-10-25 15:55

    Please understand I totally agree with most of the posters on here in that the driver deserves life behind bars. Senselessly killing 5 people while drunk is NOT Acceptable. I do wonder why people continue to exercise on our roads in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday. I for one, would NEVER do this, the risk is too high, and until the police get more control of our roads, I will not be one of those exercising at such crazy hours. This is a tragic incident that could have been avoided by everyone. RIP.

  • craig.joseph2 - 2011-10-25 16:37

    It is really sad. Hopefully court proceedings and justice will go a lot quicker than with Jub Jub!

  • Nick - 2011-10-25 18:21

    "Swerving across to road to race head-on into oncoming traffic"? Does this site even have an editor to check grammar and general wording errors?

  • Cayle - 2011-10-25 18:41

    'if he is found guilty'!? how more guilty can you be?

  • Gail - 2011-10-25 18:47

    Channing Froom: If he is found guilty my understanding is that he will face a minimum of 15 years per victim which is 75 years.

  • ruben.maistry - 2011-10-28 14:40

    From what I read,it seems that the driver was at fault, if so,he must pay the ultimate price.Those that abolished the death penalty,have a rethink. For certain crime,the death penalty must be reintroduced,especially for violent crimes.

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