‘Fair’ sent ence f or May

Truck driver in Field’s Hill ac­ci­dent pleads guilty

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SWAZI na­tional Sanele Good­ness May, whose truck ploughed int o six ve­hi­cles at a busy Dur­ban in­ter­sec­tion, killing 24 peo­ple last year, will spend the next eight years and 10 months in prison aft er he pleaded guilty to 31 charges in the Dur­ban high c ourt y es­ter­day.

How­ever, with g ood beha viour he could be r eleased in six y ears.

The charges were read out to him in Zulu and through an in­ter­preter he told Judge Kate Pil­lay: “I ad­mit all the charges”

May pleaded guilt y t o 24 c ounts of cul­pa­ble homi­cide, two charges of fraud, one charge of en­ter­ing South Africa il­le­gally, two charges of be­ing in pos­ses­sion of f ake dri ver’s lic ences, one char ge of op­er­at­ing a ve­hi­cle with­out a valid pro­fes­sional driv­ing per­mit, and one charge of fail­ing to com­ply with a r oad traf­fic sign.

On the e ven­ing of Sept em­ber 5 las t year, in rush­hour tr affic, M ay’s truck smashed into four minibus taxis and two cars at an in­ter­sec­tion at the bot­tom of Field’s Hill in Pinet own.

Twenty­two peo­ple died at the scene. Two died lat er in hospit al.

May has been in cus tody ever since. He w as pr evi­ously de­nied b ail b y the Pine­town Mag­is­trate’s Court.

Ini­tially, he w as char ged with 24 counts of mur­der, but this was changed to 24 culp able homi­cide char ges.

He was sentenced to 15 years’ im­pris­on­ment for each of the culp able homi­cide c on­vic­tions, with fi ve y ears sus­pended. He was also sent enced to one year for violating the im­mi­gra­tion laws and four years for each of the traf­fic and li­cence vi­o­la­tions.

All the sent ences are to run c on­cur­rently and the 14 months May has been in cus tody were t aken int o ac count.

“The ef­fec­tive sen­tence is one of eight years and 10 months. With good be­hav­iour that could be re­duced by a third or more,” said Pilla y.

She said she be­lie ved M ay w as r emorse­ful and had “demon­strated c on­tri­tion f or his ac­tions” .

May’s eff orts to se­cure em­ploy­ment with­out a valid li­cence had “set a chain JO­HAN­NES­BURG — A South A frican man has appe ared in a L on­don c ourt for all egedly us­ing c ats t o smuggl e heroin w orth R1 3 mil­lion int o the Unit - ed King dom, the Star r eported.

Scott P arker w as ac cused o f hid­ing the dr ugs in the bo ttoms o f thr ee c at Sanele Goodne ss Ma y (ins et) pl eaded g uilty in the Durb an high c ourt t o 2 4 culp able homi­cide char ges f or the crash wher e his tr uck pl oughed int o six v ehi­cles at a bus y Durb an int er­sec­tion (main pic ture). PHO­TOS: APP of events in mo­tion that were tragic” de­spite his “noble in­ten­tions” to support his y ounger br other in S wazi­land.

“The ac­cused too did not emerge un­scathed. He has had t o sit in j ail more than a y ear a wait­ing his f ate.”

Pil­lay said the court took no­tice of the fact that dri vers used the F ield’s Hill route t o a void p ay­ing t oll f ees.

The ac­ci­dent high­lighted the need for truck own­ers to ver­ify the de­tails and li­cences pre­sented to them by prospec­tive em­ploy­ees.

She ur ged tr affic au­thor­i­tie s t o s tep up their polic­ing on F ield’s Hill.

In his plea agr ee­ment, read into the record b y his ad vo­cate Louis B arnard, May ad­mit­ted he knew his driv­ing per­mits were not le­git­i­mate and he had mis­ crates with the an­i­mals s till inside . The c ats w ere on a flight fr om O .R. Tambo Int er­na­tional Air­port t o He athrow Air­port in L on­don.

Bri­tain’s Na­tional Crime Ag ency said work­ers at the He athrow An­i­mal R ecep­tion Centr e thought the cr ates rep­re­sented to his em­ployer Sagekal Lo­gis­tics that the y were v alid.

It also emerged from the agr ee­ment that May had failed an ini­tial driv­ing test with the c om­pany t wo weeks prior t o his em­ploy­ment on Septem­ber 2, 2013.

The fate­ful trip dur­ing which he lost con­trol of his v ehi­cle down Field’s Hill was his fir st f or the c om­pany.

He had taken a load up to Jo­han­nes­burg and it was on his re­turn trip to Dur­ban that he los t c on­trol of the truck.

May kept his head down when press pho­tog­ra­phers tried to take pic­tures of him bef ore he ent ered the dock.

As he en­tered the dock a small group of peo­ple waved to him. Mem­bers of a Face­book gr oup ha ve been unf ail­ing sup­port­ers. were un­usu­all y he avy af ter the c ats were r emoved. Of fi­cers unc overed false bo ttoms in the cr ates and f ound the hid­den her oin.

Parker w as arr ested and had been charged with im­port­ing a cl ass A dr ug into the c oun­try.

As he left the dock aft er be­ing sentenced a woman shouted from the pub­lic gallery: “We lo ve y ou S anele”.

Ntombi Duma, a teacher, who was in one of the taxis that May’s lorry ploughed into, said she be­lie ved the sent ence was fair, but they wanted the own­ers of the v ehi­cle t o be held ac count­able f or their r ole in the ac cident.

“… Is he [the truck o wner] a per­son who takes re­spon­si­bil­ity? Be­cause if he does, he would have shown his re­spon­si­bil­ity b y at leas t sho wing him­self or send­ing a not e t o us [ vic­tims].”

She and only one other per­son in the taxi they were in had sur­vived the crash.

She suf­fered spinal, neck and head in­juries and los t her hear­ing in one ear .

— S apa.

Parker, fr om Benoni, had dual South African and Bri­tish na­tion­alit y.

He appe ared in the Uxbridg e Magis - trate’s Court , wher e he w as no t r equired t o ent er a pl ea. It w as un­known when he appe ared in c ourt or when he w as arr ested. — Sap a.

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