Killer crash kombi driver sent to jail
A 25-YEAR-OLD Bulawayo kombi driver has been jailed for 24 months for causing the death of four passengers along the Bulawayo-Plumtree highway.
Perseverance Tshabalala of Mpopoma suburb was convicted on his own plea of guilty to culpable homicide by Plumtree magistrate, Mr Taurai Manwere.
Mbonisi Sibanda, Samukelisiwe Ngwenya, Edith Moyo and Thandazani Mhlanga died following the accident on the 60km peg along the Bulawayo-Plumtree highway when Tshabalala lost control of the kombi which had 18 passengers and it overturned several times.
In passing sentence, Mr Manwere said Tshabalala deserved a deterrent sentence as he had shown negligence which had cost the lives of four people.
He sentenced him to 24 months in jail and suspended six months on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
“As an operator of a public service vehicle you were supposed to exercise caution and ensure that your car was in perfect condition so as to avoid putting people’s lives in danger.
“You committed a serious offence which calls for a custodial sentence,” he said.
Prosecuting, Mr Elisha Mazorodze said Tshabalala was driving a vehicle with a worn out tyre when the accident occurred on April 30 at around 7AM along BulawayoPlumtree Road.
He said two people died on the spot while the other two died in hospital.
He said post mortem reports had shown that all four people died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.
“On 30 April Tshabalala was driving a Toyota Hiace public service vehicle along Bulawayo-Plumtree Road with 18 passengers on board headed for Bulawayo. Upon reaching the 60 kilometre peg a worn out rear right tyre separated resulting in a tyre failure.
“Tshabalala lost control of the vehicle and it veered off the road. The vehicle overturned several times before landing on its side. Two passengers died on the spot while another died upon admission at the Plumtree District Hospital and the fourth person died while he was admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals,” said Mr Mazorodze.
He said Tshabalala had shown negligence as he had failed to keep the motor vehicle under proper control.
The prosecutor said Tshabalala was driving at an excessive speed and had failed to act reasonably when an accident seemed imminent. @DubeMatutu.