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Justice: Hummer-killer jailed

2013-05-31 13:51

KILLLER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS: Indi Himalindi Chiyabu (left) will effectively serve six years in jail for killing two motorcyclists and injuring a third. Image - Beeld

PRETORIA, South Africa - Earlier in May 31, we reported that a Hummer driver who crashed into three motorcyclists, killing two and causing a third to lose a limb, would be sentenced by the Pretoria North Regional Court.

Now it seems justice has been served as Zambian national Indi Himalindi Chiyabu will serve six years in jail.

Pretoria North Regional Court Magistrate Ben van Schalkwyk sentenced Chiyabu to two nine-year terms on two culpable homicide counts. Three years of each sentence were suspended for five years and two sentences would be served concurrently.


Van Schalkwyk also sentenced Chiyabu to a further 18 months imprisonment for contravening road traffic legislation. The 18 month prison term would also run concurrently with the initial sentences.

The magistrate said he was convinced Chiyabu was a reckless driver and had caused the crash and subsequent deaths of the motorcyclists.

Earlier in May 2013, prosecutor Tanya Carstens called for a stiff jail term for Chiyabu: "An expert testified that when the accident happened, the accused did not have control over the vehicle.

"He left the scene in contravention of the law and only handed himself in five days after."

Carstens said road crashes and deaths were rampant in South Africa and the court had to impose a punishment which would serve as a deterrent to other road users.


Chiyabu's Hummer and two of the motorcycles caught fire during the crash in Rachel de Beer Road, Pretoria on October 2010.

Pieter Coetzee (49) and JP Kruger (32), died at the scene. Coetzee's son Pieter survived but had to have a leg amputated.

Chiyabu was found guilty on two counts of culpable homicide in February 2013.

Arguing in mitigation of sentence, Chiyabu's lawyer Makhi Nogaga described the accident as a tragedy, but said he should not be punished for the offences of other drivers who contributed to the rising road death toll.

Nogaga said: "The sins of this country must not be inflicted on this young man. He must be punished for his own."

Fiona Seedat, an informed Wheels24 reader who regularly contributes comment to our news reports, says:

'I can't say that justice has been served when the price you pay for taking two lives is six years in prison. I am glad, ,that this man’s freedom is lost to him, that he will experience prison and have some years to consider his future actions.

"I do hope that he leaves prison with a greater respect for human life and understanding of paying for one’s actions.

"To the Coetzee and Kruger families, the pain and the loss you suffered will be with you for the rest of your lives and Chiyabu will feel a small fraction of that pain and loss as he spends his days behind bars.

"No fancy 4x4, a bright-orange jump suit and plain food which will no doubt be a hardship."

She added later: "The last few weeks have seen a spate of road accidents and sadly lots of little ones killed and injured. Makes me feel helpless and frustrated because the promise and futures are gone.

"I read and saw the president and ministers condemn the death of the initiates last week and thought that 40 a day dying on our roads goes by unnoticed. Where is the shock and outrage then?"

Email us and we'll publish YOUR thoughts on Wheels24 or use the Readers' Comments section below to make you points.

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