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Roadlink crash driver was a zombie - MEC

By unknown | Jan 20, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The SA Roadlink bus driver who was behind the wheel when an accident killed 11 people was a "zombie".

KwaZulu-Natal MEC Bheki Cele told the media in Durban yesterday that this was one of the reasons his tranport, community safety and liason department was far from smoking the peace pipe with Roadlink.

"He was not in any state to drive. He had been turned into a complete zombie because he had driven from Johannesburg to Cape Town, and while he was in Cape Town he was told to drive to Durban.

"You will agree with me that no normal human being can do that," said Cele.

According to his office, the driver told the MEC that on December 15 he transported passengers from Johannesburg to Cape Town

He was allegedly told to drive to Durban without any rest, ending up in the accident in Hiberdene on the N2 on December 16.

"This driver was just a zombie and it cost us 11 innocent lives," said an emotional Cele.

"We are not about to reach our destination with them any time soon."

"Our battle with them is far far from over. They might have emerged victorious in the court case in December but that is not the end of the road."

Cele said the depatment's lawyers were studying the case.

"We will be changing our tactics in approaching the matter," he said.

"We can't allow a situation in which people are killed because of greedy operators who put money and profit above the lives of people."

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesman Zinhle Mngomezulu said long distance drivers are supposed to rest every two hours.

Roadlink management was not available for comment.

On road fatalities during the festive season, Cele said KZN recorded an 18 percent reduction compared with the same period the previous year.

"Preliminary figures for road deaths indicate that 290 people were killed in road crashes compared to 353 fatalities during 2007.

"The decrease is the result of our commitment to fighting the challenges of road deaths.

"Pedestrian fatalities have also been reduced by 46 percent. Our road safety measures have worked," said Cele, adding, however, that the 117 passenger deaths were still high, up from 2007's 109.


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