“Death Truck” Owner Faces Ruin

One of the taxis shredded in the Pinetown horror crash.
One of the taxis shredded in the Pinetown horror crash.

The owner of the “death truck” that ploughed into six vehicles, killing 24 people, on Fields Hill in Pinetown last year appears to be on the brink of financial ruin.

Gregory Govender, who owns Sagekal Logistics, has been unable to pay a tyre bill of R146 000 dating back more than a year ago. He runs a fleet of trucks from his office in Phoenix, Durban.

The driver of the truck, Swazi national Sanele Goodness May, remains in custody. May allegedly lost control of the vehicle on September 6 last year and collided with two cars and four minibus taxis. He was originally charged with murder, but this was changed to culpable homicide.

May appeared in the Durban High Court on Friday and his case was postponed because a plea bargain had not yet been finalised.

Tyres 2000 took Govender to court in November last year, just two months after the Fields Hill accident. In June this year, the Verulam Magistrate’s Court ordered that one of his Volvo trucks be auctioned to pay his bill. The head of Tyres 2000 legal department, Maarten Strydom, said this week that Govender had been a client since June 2010.

“We never had a problem with payment until after the accident. If we had, the company would have been on our ‘blocked’ list. During my meeting with him (on October 2013), he indicated that the accident had taken a huge financial toll on him,” Strydom said.

Another company, Wozani Berg Gasoline, won a judgment against Govender in August after Sagekal could not pay its fuel bill. Govender did not return calls and text messages seeking comment.

But it could get worse for Govender, with the National Prosecuting Authority considering bringing charges against him.

Matthew Savides and Penelope Mashego