No jail time for owner of Pinetown truck that killed 24 people

2017-06-05 18:44
Gregory Govender with his lawyer (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Gregory Govender with his lawyer (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – There will be no jail time for the owner of a truck that crashed into several vehicles, killing 24 people on Fields Hill, Pinetown, in 2013.

Gregory Govender, owner of Sagekal Logistics, will under the plea and sentence agreement pay a combined fine of R25 000, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday.

Truck driver Sanele May is serving a 10-year jail term at the Umzinto Correctional Services facility for his role as the driver in the incident. In September 2013, the truck hurtled down Fields Hill after its brakes failed to apply.

May took the first off-ramp towards Richmond Road, Pinetown. The truck went through the intersection - smashing into two cars and four minibus taxis in an incident that killed 22 people immediately. Another two people later died in hospital.

Govender pleaded guilty to the Contravention of the National Road Traffic Act regarding the roadworthiness of the truck and the trailer that was involved in the crash - this in terms of the duties of an operator. The act requires the operator of a motor vehicle to conduct his operations with due care to public safety.

The fourth charge is a contravention of the Immigration Act and relates to the employment of May – from Swaziland - who was in the country illegally. 

"For counts 1 and 2 [taken as one for the purpose of sentencing], the accused was sentenced to a fine of R10 000 or 12 months imprisonment. He was further sentenced to a fine of R10 000 or 12 months imprisonment for count 3 and a fine of R5 000 or six months imprisonment for count 4," NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said.

Kara said charges against Sagekal Logistics were withdrawn because "the company is currently subject to liquidation proceedings and is insolvent". 

The KZN Director of Public Prosecutions Adv Moipone Noko welcomed the sentence.

"We welcome the sentence and hope it serves as a warning to transport operators to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy. Truck accidents contribute significantly to the carnage on our roads."

Read more on:    pinetown

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