NOTE: This article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 22, 2014.
The driver behind the wheel of the truck which caused last week’s horror accident on the N12 highway is planning to plead not guilty.
Appearing for the second time at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Isaac Wade Maruding said in an affidavit that he was not responsible for the crash.
Maruding, driving a truck owned by Benusi Cargo Carriers, plowed through numerous vehicles on the highway when the truck’s brakes allegedly failed on October 14.
The accident left four people dead, seven critically injured and 19 with minor injuries.
In the same affidavit, Maruding apologised to those injured and their families.
Mokhele Salemane, Maruding’s new legal representative, proposed his client br granted R5 000 bail on the grounds that by being detained he was losing income and could not support his family of three – two children and his wife.
It was revealed to the court today that along with Maruding’s previous convictions for culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving, he had another culpable homicide charge on his record.
Phokungwane said Maruding was aquitted of culpable homicide in 1996. He was a taxi driver at the time.
State witness and investigating officer Joas Pheagne Phokungwane said investigations were underway on the vehicle and would be concluded next week.
Phokungwane and state prosecutor John Ntuli said releasing Maruding on bail would “endanger the public at large”.
Ntuli used this as another reason for Maruding not to get bail.
Magistrate Samuel Hlubi postponed his judgment to October 27.
“No bail is set at this stage and the accused will remain in custody,” he said.The truck was impounded by police.