CONDEMNATION: National transport minister Dupio Peters has slammed the driver of a minibus in which 11 people were killed before he has even appeared in court. Image: Sapa
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - The driver of a minibus taxi involved in a crash in which 11 people were killed in Mpumalanga "must face harsh penalties", national transport minister Dipuo Peters has said.
Which hardly paves the way for a fair trial, no matter the seriousness of the alleged offences. Here's her full howl: "I am calling for a harsh penalty, with no bail of)sic) the driver, who allegedly was in possession of a fake driver's licence."
She even uses the word "allegedly", though given the phraseology of the rest of her demands that hardly tempers them into even a vestige of tolerance for the due processes of the law.
FAILED TO STOP
And, Peters added, the taxi's owner should also be held be responsible for hiring a driver without verifying his credentials. "The taxi associations and council must take action," Peters said.
Like, yeah! Of course they will - Ed.
The Mpumalanga community safety department said on Friday (Oct 3) that apart from the 11 dead, six people were injured when the taxi and a truck collided head-on on the R23 between Perdekop and Standerton.
The minibus (allegedly*) failed to stop at a road-construction site "stop/go" sign on Friday afternoon, ministerial spokesman Joseph Mabuza said in a statement adding that the driver, who at the time of the incident did not have right of way, continued to drive on in the single-lane road.
More untested allegations:
"The driver skipped the 'stop and go' operation and collided with the truck," Mabuza said at the time. On Sunday (Oct 5) the department said the taxi driver had been arrested for having an allegedly fake driving licence.
Peters said the crash was being investigated by the transport department, Road Traffic Management Corporation and the provincial government. Apart from determining the cause of the crash (see the minister and spokesman's outrageous comments above), the investigation would look at ways to prevent future accidents.
The minister sent her condolences to the families of those killed and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
*Wheels24 inserted the "alleged".