There should be legislation to hold the owners of trucks and those that inspect them responsible with the drivers when they cause accidents on the roads.
This was the call of Magistrate Zithulele Hlubi‚ who yesterday granted Isaac Maruding bail of R7 000. Maruding allegedly caused the horror crash that left four people dead and 26 injured on the N12 in Alberton two weeks ago today.
Maruding is charged with three counts of culpable homicide and one of reckless and negligent driving for the crash that left 48 cars damaged and caused the death of Henry Mohloai‚ Henry Mnisi and Sidwell Ngqoboka. A fourth victim is yet to be identified.
He was arrested in Potchefstroom the day after the accident and has said he will plead not guilty to the charges. One of the conditions of his bail was that he hand over his driving licence to the investigating officer.
Hlubi said the state failed to convince the court that Maruding would try to evade his trial merely because he had fled the scene of the accident. The state also failed to prove that Maruding would endanger the lives of the public if released‚ Hlubi said.
He said Maruding‚ on the other hand‚ made out a case for his release‚ because his address has been verified‚ he has a family and he owns property. Hlubi also noted that Maruding had attended the trial in which he was convicted of culpable homicide in 1999‚ to its very end.
Hlubi expressed sadness and concern at the “desperate situation” in which truck drivers found themselves as they were the only ones charged when they cause road accidents.
“I am waiting for the day when the legislation will prosecute the above [truck owners and inspectors of trucks] as stakeholders‚” he said.
The case was postponed to next month for further investigation.