Girl, 7, dies after fall off tractor

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A tractor driver could face charges of culpable homicide after he allegedly ran over a seven-year-old girl he had given a lift on Tuesday.

Celiwe Sabela of Ntinini reserve in Mbongolwane, northern KwaZulu-Natal, was on her way home from school when she and a group of other children asked a tractor driver from their neighbourhood for a lift home.

The tractor, which transports sugar cane, was empty and the driver allowed the children to board the tractor.

Celiwe allegedly fell off the tractor and the wheels went over her body causing fatal injuries in full view of her friends who were still on board.

The incident has left them traumatised.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said when police on the scene interviewed the driver, he said the deceased was run over while trying to grab sugar cane from his moving tractor.

Naicker said the driver claimed that the children were walking on the road and he had not noticed that one of them had jumped on the tractor to pick up sugar cane.

"Upon interviewing a number of witnesses the next day, it was discovered that the driver had given the children a lift on his tractor and that the deceased fell off," Naicker said.

The driver was not supposed to be transporting children on a tractor and police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.

"The driver has not been arrested as investigations are still under way," Naicker said.