“I’m not guilty” – N12 crash truck driver

NOTE: This article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 22, 2014.

Truck driver Isaac Maruding attempts to cover his head during a court adjournment of his bail application at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's court, 22 October 2014. Maruding is appearing on charges of culpable homicide. Picture: Refilwe Modise
Truck driver Isaac Maruding attempts to cover his head during a court adjournment of his bail application at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s court, 22 October 2014. Maruding is appearing on charges of culpable homicide. Picture: Refilwe Modise

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.


N12 crash driver a flight risk

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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.

N12 Crash: Defence lawyers drop truck driver

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 16, 2014. 

The driver of the truck that ploughed into close to 50 cars on the N12 on the East Rand on Tuesday, was left in the lurch by his legal representatives at Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday afternoon.

N12 crash truck driver Isaac Maruding in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. Pic: Tracy Lee Stark.
N12 crash truck driver Isaac Maruding in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. Pic: Tracy Lee Stark.

Truck driver Isaac Maruding had his first appearance in court on Thursday. State attorney, John Ntuli applied for a postponement of the case to investigate further.

Maruding, facing four counts of culpable homicide and one count of reckless and negligent driving, covered his face throughout proceedings.  His representatives, advocate Gerhard Louw and Deon van Staden initially opposed the postponement, wanting to proceed with Maruding’s bail application.

When Magistrate Samuel Hlubi denied the defences application,  Louw asked to be withdrawn as his client’s representative. “We don’t have instruction to proceed with this case beyond today,” Louw said.

Maruding has a previous conviction for both culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving, and served time in prison for both, the court heard.

The state asked for more time to properly compile information on those who died in the crash, Ntuli saying “additional charges” may be added in future.

Hlubi postponed the matter until October 22, to give both the state and Maruding the time they need.

Maruding now has to find alternative legal representation after the company appointed lawyers dumped him on Thursday.