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Reckless driver get harsh sentence!

The truck driver, Sibusiso Siyaya, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Photo Supplied


The truck driver, Sibusiso Siyaya, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Photo Supplied

TRUCK driver Sibusiso Siyaya, who is behind the tragic death of several pupils, will spend a very long time in jail.

The 30-year-old truck driver was on Thursday, 16 May, sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Pongola High Court.

This is after he was convicted on 20 counts of murder, reckless and negligent driving, and failure to perform the duties of a driver after an accident.

Siyaya’s sentencing relates to an accident that happened in September 2023, where a truck that he was driving plunged into a bakkie that was transporting pupils, killing all occupants of the bakkie.

He was employed as a heavy motor vehicle driver for a company which transported coal from Mpumalanga to the Richards Bay coal terminal in KZN for export. In the course of his employment, he travelled the route between the mines in Mpumalanga and KZN, using the N2 via the Itshelejuba Pass in Pongola.

The National Prosecuting Authority KZN Regional Division spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said on 16 September 2022, he collected a load of coal in Mpumalanga and made his way towards the coal terminal in Richards Bay.

“En route, Siyaya drove recklessly and often overtook several cars,” she said.

She said whilst driving on the on-coming lane, Siyaya collided with a bakkie carrying 20 passengers.

“The occupants of the bakkie were aged between 5 and 28 years old and were pupils on their way to school. The head-on collision killed all the occupants of the bakkie. Siyaya fled the scene after the collision and was arrested a day later,” she said.

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She said in the state’s case, Advocate Krishen Shah led the evidence of 12 witnesses, relying on the testimonies of three expert witnesses, as well as onboard CCTV video clips and GPS evidence, encompassing both technical and mechanical evidence.

“Shah also submitted victim impact statements compiled by the family members of the deceased,” she said.

She said all the family members mentioned that their lives had been affected following the incident.

“One woman mentioned that all her children were on board the car on the day of the accident, and she has thus lost all her children. Another woman mentioned that she lost three of her children who were travelling to school on the day of the accident,” she said.

She said since the court found that the murder counts occurred in one single act, Siyaya was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for the murders (all taken as one for the purpose of sentencing), three years imprisonment for reckless and negligent driving, and six years imprisonment for failure to perform the duties of a driver after an accident.

The court ordered that the sentences for reckless and negligent driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver run concurrently, resulting in the effective sentence of 20 years imprisonment. Further, his driver’s licence was cancelled.

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