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'Twenty-year sentence for road killer welcomed' - JPSA

2017-09-21 11:19


Johnnesburg - The twenty-year sentence for three counts of culpable homicide, reckless driving and driving under the influence handed down by Magistrate Anand Maharaj to Kriesen Moodley in the Durban Regional Court on Tuesday (Sept 19) is welcomed by Justice Project South Africa.

News24 reported that a stern message was passed on to drunk drivers when a Durban Regional Court magistrate has given a young man who caused an accident in which three people died, a 20 year prison sentence.

"This type of offence is dangerously frequent... the time has now arrived for courts to consider the imposition of exemplary and austere sentences to those who show wilful and wanton disregard for the rules of the road.

"We need sentences that can have the effect of changing the mind-set of such drivers who become lethal weapons," Magistrate Anand Maharaj said in passing sentence on 24-year-old Kriesen Moodley.

READ: Drunk driver gets 20 years in jail for killing three people

Justice Project SA responds

This case proves beyond any reasonable doubt that when judicial officers are presented with properly prosecuted cases, sound convictions can result and the interests of the victims and their families, as well as those of society at large can be properly taken into account in sentencing.

Do you agree with the 20-year jail sentence? Do you think harsher punishments will help curb drunk driving in SA? Email us.

Unlike where people who engage in dangerous road practices end up killing innocent road users are incorrectly prosecuted for murder, the likelihood of appealing the conviction and sentencing succeeding in this case is remote.

JPSA asserts that had the same approach have been adopted in other, high profile cases of a similar nature, the perpetrators would not have gotten off the hook as easily as they did.

JPSA national chairman, Howard Dembovsky, says: "The unacceptably high road carnage situation which plays itself out on South Africa’s roads on a daily basis most definitely needs to be addressed and at least part of the solution must necessarily lie in sending strong deterrent messages to those who seem to believe that killing people as a result of engaging in dangerous driving practices is a trivial affair.

"This case also has the effect of proving that there is no need to seek to dispose of a person’s constitutional rights ahead of their conviction, as has been repeatedly mooted by the RTMC and the Minister of Transport. All that is required is that cases are properly prosecuted and judicial officers are provided with sufficient evidence in order to convict guilty people and sentence them accordingly.

"Increased physical and visible law enforcement also has a vital role to play and would undoubtedly lead to a reduction in dangerous driving practices, and as a result, the needless losses of life and causing of unnecessary suffering, which then necessitates “harsh sentences” arising out of the unlawful killing of people on our roads." 


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