The truck driver who allegedly caused a crash that left four people dead and 26 injured on the N12 last week‚ has a propensity to commit similar offences and is likely to flee‚ the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday (22-10-2014).
Isaac Maruding‚ 44‚ is facing three counts of culpable homicide and one of reckless and negligent driving for the accident in Alberton on Tuesday last week.
He was arrested in Potchefstroom the day after he crashed into 48 cars. One of the deceased has not been identified yet while Henry Mohloai and Sello Mnisi died at the scene and Sidwell Ngqoboka died later in hospital. Of those injured‚ seven are in a critical condition and 19 sustained minor injuries.
Maruding has pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for bail yesterday. Prosecutor John Ntuli opposed bail on the grounds that Maruding had fled the scene and was arrested in another province. This‚ he said‚ was proof that Maruding would try to evade his trial.
“The accused seems to have a propensity to commit crimes that arise from driving‚” Ntuli said. Warrant Officer Pheagane Phokungwane told the court that Maruding was acquitted of culpable homicide in Kroonstad in 1996 while he drove a taxi.
In 1999 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for culpable homicide. He was convicted of reckless and negligent driving in 1997 and sentenced to 18 months in jail‚ suspended for four years.
Ntuli said it was possible that Maruding fled the scene last week because he realised what he had done and knew he would face a lengthy sentence because he had been convicted of similar offences before.
Advocate Mokhele Salemane argued on behalf of Maruding that he would have no income to care for his two children if bail was denied. Magistrate Zithulele Hlubi postponed the case to Monday for judgment on the bail application.