MEC welcomes taxi driver verdict

2011-12-12 16:44

Cape Town - The murder verdict against minibus taxi driver Jacob Humphreys is "a victory for justice and road safety", Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said on Monday.

"The National Prosecuting Authority must take full credit for having the courage and determination to forge ahead with murder charges.

"Increasingly, we are seeing the NPA take a firmer line with those who kill and maim on the roads," Carlisle said.

Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney found Humphreys, 55, guilty on Monday on 10 charges of murder and four of attempted murder.

The children died after his minibus was hit by a train at a level crossing at Blackheath outside Cape Town last year.

Relatives of the children who had packed into the public gallery of the court gasped as Henney delivered the verdict.

Some burst into tears and sobbed.

Humphreys, who had his bail withdrawn and was jailed shortly after being convicted, remained expressionless and kept his hands clasped in front of him as Henney read his judgment.

"We need these brutal, unrepentant killer drivers to be thrown behind bars for lengthy periods, or we will never have safe roads," Carlisle said.

  • Myancmyfuture - 2011-12-12 16:53

    I hope Jub-jub is following this case

  • GWsykwatcher - 2011-12-12 16:55

    Well done. Hopefully the message will sink in and save some lives over the holiday season.

  • Ben - 2011-12-12 17:02

    Justice is justice but I feel sorry for this man as his intention was not murder. Compared to drug lords walking free every day this could be seen as a bit harsh

      Achmad - 2011-12-12 17:05

      Ben, you sympathy is misguided. The judge stated that this driver was unrepentant. Instead of going to court and wasting everyone's time and of course dragging out the misery of the victims' families - he could have pleaded guilty and asked for the forgiveness of the families and the court. He did neither.

      Kala - 2011-12-12 17:07

      @Ben - The man intentionally over took a line of cars and went through closed level crossing gates, and you think the sentence was to harsh. Dude I don't know if you have kids but if you do and one of them was killed by this moron you would surely feel differently. I do however agree with you about the murdering drug lords and feel that they should suffer the same fate as blacked out Humphries

      Ron - 2011-12-12 17:10

      Zero tolerance - for ALL crimes!!!

  • Piet - 2011-12-12 17:03

    This verdict changes nothing for the passengers and hundreds of innocent people who are killed every year due to the selfish, barbaric and lawless behavior of the taxi drivers. Behavior which is obviously endorsed by government. How quickly did government take steps against bus companies after 2 bus accidents earlier in the year, but 20 times more people are killed by taxi's, yet, no steps are taken, nothing is even said against taxi drivers by government officials...

      Kala - 2011-12-12 17:19

      A case of genocide should be levelled at the taxi industry. More people are killed on SA roads in a year than in war torn counties like Afghanistan. If 30 people are killed by a bomb blast in Pakistan it's called an act of terrorism. Here in SA 30 people get killed by a taxi and they call it an accident. Where's the logic?

      Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-12 17:34

      True Kala, I would not be surprised if the taxi industry is sponsored by the far far right wing. And the ANC for that matter, as they don't take any action against this genocidal industry?

      Wes - 2011-12-12 17:46

      Many of the taxi bosses are traffic cops,police,family of government officials etc etc so they don't care.

  • Freddy - 2011-12-12 17:08

    They should also take this drivers bosses to court, otherwise he just gets replaced with another killer!!

  • Ben - 2011-12-12 17:13

    My comment had more to do with the comparison with the drug lords. Yes I have children and my feelings for towards drug lords stem exactly from this fact.

  • Zion - 2011-12-12 17:19

    Another one bites the dust and one taxi lesser to boot. Give that judge a Bonnie and Clyde, yes 10 bottles.

  • Alva - 2011-12-12 17:21

    Hear, hear! Justice is done.

  • Jay - 2011-12-12 17:22

    I'm no lawyer and im glad justice will be served, but isn't this manslaughter? I thought Murder was the intentional killing of somebody! Either way, I still insist that taxi drivers should have to pass a specialized driving course before getting their licenses.

      Kala - 2011-12-12 17:30

      The Judge pointed out that because Humphries intentionally passed through the closed level crossing gates, the his decision was deliberate and therefor constituded murder.

      Pieter - 2011-12-12 21:05

      Kala - The decision was deliberate to pass through the closed level crossing gates ... however...the decision was not deliberate to commit murder and that is where the verdict fails. This will not be upheld under appeal. The intent must be to commit murder.

  • taurais - 2011-12-12 17:26

    Next step, harsh sentences(and fittingly so!!) against the filth and human scum of this society, these damn rapists at every corner.

  • Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-12 17:31

    I agree the oke should be punished harshly, but I don't think murder is a logical conviction. Did he really intend to kill these children, or was it just a stupid mistake due to carelessness. I'd like to know how the outcome is murder. Not a legal genius but culpable homicide sounds more appropriate anyway. Whatever, he still deserves to be put away for a long long time.

      Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-12 17:36

      After reading the comments and not just the article, my verdict now is murder - or very very close to murder. Thanks guys, for the detail (if true) - always lacking in the articles.

  • Phumezo - 2011-12-12 17:57

    How shameful for the DA to be using Jacob Humphreys an old man to score cheap political points! The least they can do is to shoulder the blame with him for not building a bridge in that crossing in the first place! Then again we know that they would rather spend their money promoting Table Mountain, beauty treatments and bicycle lanes in the surbub instead of spending it on people!

      Dave - 2011-12-12 18:14

      Once again, what makes this any different than the rest of the ANC run South Africa. At least they are spending money on the town and not simply stealing it all and letting the town run down like so many other ANC run places in our South Africa.

      Zion - 2011-12-12 18:27

      Phumezo, how shameful for the ANC and their corrupt municipalities that cannot fix potholes and thus been the cause of dozens of accidents, some fatal. We know the ANC municipalities would rather spend their money via theft and personal gain.

      Neville - 2011-12-13 08:44

      Phumezo u sound very very stupid why bringing in politics 10 children lost their lives,

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-12 18:04

    good, now onto the murderers, rapists and theives

      TheWatcher - 2011-12-12 18:04


  • Vegi - 2011-12-12 18:06

    The DA should have been a co-accused. These innocent children would not have died had the DA taken its duties as a provincial government seriously. A Huge chunk of the Western Cape government funds goes towards paving thoroughfares in the suburbs of the rich while the rest is lost through corruption. Very little goes toward infrastructe like the bridge that should have saved these children's lives.

      Dave - 2011-12-12 18:10

      So what makes this any different than the rest of the ANC run South Africa.

      Vegi - 2011-12-12 18:36

      Dave It is different because the DA is an accomplice to murder yet no charges have been preferred against it. The ANC has never murdered so many children at once. Where the ANC government has been found to be at fault, it has been ordered to pay e.g. the case of the man who has recently been awarded R1 700 000.00 because he was injured due to a pothole that was neglected by the ANC government. I hope the parents of these children bring civil claims against the DA.

      Kala - 2011-12-12 19:08

      Vegi - there is a level crossing with boom gates and warning bells. An idiot behind a steering wheel will always be an idiot, whether you build a bridge or a 5 lane highway he would have eventually caused the death of any number of people. People don't want to accept responsibility for their actions. It is always somebody else's fault

      Neville - 2011-12-13 08:48

      A huge chunk of the ANC budget goes into their pockets and arranging big parties even if it is the dogs birthday, Whilst their supporters still lives in poverty

  • Tommie - 2011-12-12 18:08

    @Ben - htf can you say "i feel sorry" for him after he drove past all the parked cars and crossed the railroad while the booms were closed

      Ben - 2011-12-12 18:42

      Only compared to drug lords. How many of them pay for their crimes.

  • Tommie - 2011-12-12 18:09

    @ben - please call this dude and ask him to be your driver, would you?

  • Thozi - 2011-12-12 18:12

    Sies tog, to think he was just bragging that he could beat the train while some 'skepsels' waited. Same with Marohanye and his buddy. These clever people make me sick! Glad it's their turn to be 'skepsels' now.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2011-12-12 19:37

    Separate the issues-the children and the judgement. My comments on the judgement: This must be the most emotionally driven judgement I have seen in a long time. Technically it is flawed. If one had to apply the logic consistently, then: Transnet is guilty of murder because they should have foreseen that inefficient barriers and warning systems at level crossings could lead to death. The driver of the train himself could be guilty too-driving a train in places accessible to motor vehicles and people. People in charge of road maintenance could be charged with murder-they should foresee that potholes, poor markings or inefficient warning signs could lead to accidents and death. Taking the argument to the extreme: A fatigued driver on the road could be charged with attempted murder.

  • maghdim - 2011-12-12 23:50

    A copy of this judgement must be given to every taxi driver and/or owner so that they can they can see that AT LAST SOMETHING IS DONE TO THE CARNAGE ON OUR ROADS!

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