No mercy, drivers warned after taxi verdict

2011-12-12 20:22

Cape Town - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has warned drivers they will be charged with murder if it can be proved they had "some form of intention" to cause death.

Ndebele's comments came after minibus taxi driver Jacob Humphreys was found guilty of murdering 10 children, killed when his taxi was hit by a train at a level crossing outside Cape Town last year.

The minister said the department would be aggressive in dealing with irresponsible drivers.

"In those instances where it can be proved that a motorist's conduct is such that it can be inferred that he had some form of intention to cause the death of the deceased, that motorist will be charged with murder."

Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney found Humphreys, 55, guilty on Monday on 10 charges of murder and four of attempted murder. Relatives of the children who had packed into the court's public gallery gasped as Henney delivered the verdict.

Some burst into tears and sobbed.

Humphreys, who had his bail withdrawn after being convicted, remained expressionless and kept his hands clasped in front of him as Henney read his judgment.

Ndebele welcomed the court's verdict.

"Our society has degenerated to a level where some drivers continue to display a blatant disregard for human life.

"In conjunction with the ministries of police and justice, as well as the national prosecuting authority, we will continue to ensure that we are more aggressive in dealing with irresponsible drivers to protect our constitutionally entrenched right to life," he said.

"No mercy will be shown to any person who disobeys road rules."

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2011-12-12 20:31

    This is a minister? Enough to drive me to drink!

      Kate - 2011-12-12 20:34

      You paying for the first round Maseratifittipaldi?

      maseratifittipaldi - 2011-12-12 20:40

      Hic! Fairies? Kate? Gotta go home now...walking...

      George - 2011-12-13 07:41

      G you lucky, I have to drive myself

  • Kate - 2011-12-12 20:33

    Does this apply to the Blue Light Brigade too?

      Samora - 2011-12-12 20:43

      "Our society has degenerated to a level where some drivers continue to display a blatant disregard for human life." and he probably went home in a bl brigade too

  • Bob - 2011-12-12 20:40

    It is all very well and easy dishing out harsh penalties to those that have already committed a crime..! No feather in your cap for that one! Now how about getting off your fat lazy backsides and start doing your work proactively to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place.

  • Victor - 2011-12-12 20:43

    Ya, stop being an idiot. Everyone knows there taxi's is above the law. Again, for the million'th time, taxi's and trucks(way to much on our roads) is the biggest threat, directly or indirectly on our roads. So just wake up

      fredahsm - 2011-12-12 22:39

      Please buy me a car, do have a drivers licence. can't afford one and can only use taxis as they are the only ones on route

  • maria.kruse2 - 2011-12-12 20:49

    Dear minister A little less conversation and lots more action......pleeeze!

  • Pieter - 2011-12-12 20:51

    This sentence will not be upheld under appeal. Murder is... the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of one human being by another without malice aforethought Spot the problem and win a price! So what they are saying is..the driver planned beforehand to kill the kids? ...because that is the requirement of a murder conviction.

      dave.leverton - 2011-12-12 21:01

      Dolus eventualis (indirect intention) exists when the possibility of a particular consequence or circumstance is foreseen, but there is a reckless disregard as to whether it ensues or not. In other words, if the likelihood clearly existed of the train hitting the vehicle and causing death then the charge is murder. Jumping the queue when the booms are down signalling an on-coming train, then squeezing through the gap to cross the lines - knowing a train is approaching - is tantamount to foreseeing the fatal consequences. The same concept will be used in the Jub Jub case.

      Pieter - 2011-12-12 21:42

      Thanks Dave for clearing that up!

      dave.leverton - 2011-12-12 21:59

      I'm quite sure the charge will be contentious but while a charge of murder may be a bit extreme, a charge of culpable homicide is not harsh enough in this and similar instances.

  • Jason - 2011-12-12 20:58

    Methinks its time to introduce a separate set of stricter road rules for busses and taxis. The passengers (including children) are not there by choice and I am tired of hearing about innocent people being killed in accidents.

  • Dave - 2011-12-12 21:05

    Motormouth, all wind and piss. Another depoloyed cadre failure.

  • Darkie - 2011-12-12 21:25

    So according to whites, our government will never do anything right neh? Had this man walked free, you were going to complain. He's found guilty of murder, you're complaining. There's corruption, you complain. The corrupt get caught, you still find fault. Farmers are murdered, you complain. The murderers get caught, you still find faults and say that its the governments fault. The only thing the government must do to make you happy is just make Jacob Stein or Johan Schoonwinkel a president... Guess what, that's not going to happen.

      Horst - 2011-12-12 21:37

      you know what? You are right, and I am a pink person. These constant complainers also get me p..ssed off.

      Neeus - 2011-12-12 21:52

      you should demand a higher standard from your elected officials unless your snout is deep in the trough already?

      John - 2011-12-13 09:00

      The problem is Darkie. You say it's us whites that complain, the thing is we are complaining for the rights of everyone and not just us whites. What colour people suffer more from this gross over loading of vehicles More than any other race in SA. Not the whites. So who are we fighting for more than anyone else to be able to travel to work and school safely. We all want the same thing, so stop attacking those that are prepared to speak out for you're and my rights.

  • Mozolo - 2011-12-12 21:32

    sbu what is the intesion to cause death, you should ask for legal advice before you talk, taxi drivers should be harsly punished but to say he had intensions to murder is quite shocking coming from you

      fredahsm - 2011-12-12 23:03

      @Mozolo, Why only taxi drivers, wht abt the other drivers who intentionally causes accidents?

  • Horst - 2011-12-12 21:38

    Emotionally I agree with the judgement, but I don't think it will stick in a higher court.

  • Neeus - 2011-12-12 21:49

    fine it before it happens not after the deaths have occurred. Its not the speeding... its the road-worthiness of the vehicles and the overloading. Today between Hillcrest and 'Maritsburg, three lanes and three trucks abreast. Durban drivers think that the left hand lane is there for sight seeing, 80 to 90 kmph...

  • Jim - 2011-12-12 21:57

    This is real "reaction after the event" instead of "practical prevention measures to prevent the event from occurring in the first place" Mr Sbu Ndbele - please institute an action right now to stop all moving violations from crossing white lines at stop streets to running robots to crossing barrier lines to chasing trains to level crossings with the immediate impounding of vehicles as the result of any infringement. Remember Mr Bloomberg's actions in New York and how they "fixed" the problems in that City - Lock up people who commit minor infringements such as breaking windows and the major criminals such as thieves, murderers and so on will rapidly disappear. In our case initially impound all vehicles which are involved in accidents where a life is lost,these vehicles to remain impounded until the court has found the driver either "not guilty" or -if guilty - the vehicle is confiscated to the state for disposal. This should quickly sort out all owners of private vehicles, taxi owners, truck owners etc to start exercising the proper controls over drivers of their vehicles. One problem - the state needs to control the vehicle pounds to make sure nothing is stolen or missing while the case is proceeding NOT IMPOSSIBLE I WOULD THINK??

      dave.leverton - 2011-12-12 22:06

      Agreed 100% - but the govt is too scared to make taxis pay the Gauteng tolls let alone dare to impound vehicles as suggested.

  • Renier - 2011-12-12 22:05

    I wish I could say this regarding each applicable news item: (Generally the intellectual discussions are very interesting and broadens one's outlook and knowledge. However the constant "Blacks" this and "Whites" that is a pain in the ...) Personally, I hope the judgement was correct taking cognizance of both comments from Pieter and Dave. I tend to agree with Dave as this case is more than jumping a red light and causing the death of another. A physical barrier was ignored with horrible consequences.

      Renier - 2011-12-12 22:15

      Complains about pro-active policing hits the nail on the head. It is the lack of pro-active Law Enforcement that creates the "No Fear of the Law" attitude among drivers causing accidents due to moving violations. (I am not referring to pro-active speed law enforcement.)

      fredahsm - 2011-12-12 23:22

      @Renier, agreed 110%, you are actually the only person addressing "drivers" and not discriminating. If we can all learn to accept tht we are all responsible, the attitude might change and our behaviour for the best, but we always quick to point fingers at others and overlook our own mistakes, yes everyday someone drives on the shoulder lane, skipping a red traffic light, busy on a cel (incl metro police people). Yes trucks, buses, taxis, pvt vehicles, motor bikes, etc we are all perpetrators every road user have the responsibility on our roads, incl pedestrians, Me and You *reading this post*

  • Michael - 2011-12-12 22:33

    Why is Jub Jub and his friend still at large, I ask?

  • fredahsm - 2011-12-12 23:24

    @Sbu, shouldn't you then start looking at upgrading train level crossings? How many people have lost there lives at these level crossings?

  • Paulus Gerber - 2011-12-13 12:46

    And who is responsible THE Mini ster himself most Taxi drivers haven't got a PDP licence and taxis don't go for COF as before. So whose to blame..Law Enforcement officicial corrupt.

  • Paulus Gerber - 2011-12-13 12:46

    And who is responsible THE Mini ster himself most Taxi drivers haven't got a PDP licence and taxis don't go for COF as before. So whose to blame..Law Enforcement officicial corrupt.

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