Taxi crash driver ‘must be charged’

2017-08-25 14:19
The taxi crash in KwaXimba which resulted in 20 people losing their lives.

The taxi crash in KwaXimba which resulted in 20 people losing their lives. (Supplied)

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A mass memorial service for the 20 people killed in the Msunduzi horror taxi crash was held on Thursday at the KwaXimba sports centre.

KZN legislature deputy speaker Meshack Hadebe and various councillors from the Msunduzi and eThekwini municipalities attended.

On Sunday, a minibus taxi carrying members of the Inyonini Zion church, who were travelling to a tombstone unveiling, crashed into the Msunduzi bridge barrier and overturned, rolling down an embankment.

Various speakers addressing mourners at the memorial service called for the taxi driver to be held accountable for the crash.

Ward 1 councillor Musa Mkhize said the driver must be charged.

“We cannot stand here and say this accident was planned by God. The truth is a reckless driver took a faulty taxi and used it to transport unsuspecting members of our community,” Mkhize said.

“We want the police to ensure that when the driver is discharged from the hospital, he is prosecuted for killing so many people.”

The taxi driver, Lindelani Ngubane, is still in hospital under police guard.

Mkhize said attempts to get hold of the owner of the taxi had failed. The owner lives in Wentworth, Durban.

“I spoke to the owner and he agreed to meet with me but he still has not shown up.

“He must come here and explain how his taxi was operating in our area without a licence.”

Mkhize also took a swipe at private health care facilities that turn away critically injured patients without medical aid cover.

“Someone must tell us how critically injured patients were transported to government hospitals in Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Could the critically injured people not have been stabilised first before being transported to government hospitals?”

Sphiwe Mbhele of Santaco confirmed that the minibus taxi was not certified to transport passengers.

“It is heartbreaking that commuters put their lives at risk by boarding an overloaded taxi that was not even permitted to carry passengers.”

Mbhele urged residents to consult with the taxi associations for transportation in order to travel in safe and roadworthy vehicles.

He also urged public transport users to take a stand and refuse to be overloaded in taxis.

KwaXimba Chief Zibuse Mlaba said the accident had devastated the community and would forever be intertwined in the DNA of KwaXimba.

A mass funeral will be held on Saturday at the KwaXimba sports grounds.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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