'Drag racers must be punished'

MOLEMO Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala, the two drivers involved in a dicing accident that claimed four lives in Soweto on Monday, must face the "full wrath" of the law, Minister ofTransport Sibusiso Ndebele has said.

MOLEMO Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala, the two drivers involved in a dicing accident that claimed four lives in Soweto on Monday, must face the "full wrath" of the law, Minister ofTransport Sibusiso Ndebele has said.

"This is an unnecessary loss of innocent young lives and therefore those who are found guilty must face the full wrath of the law," Ndebele said in a statementyesterday.

Ndebele said Road Accident Fund officials would visit the families to provide assistance. Accident reconstruction specialists would also investigate the crash.

"We have called on law enforcement agencies to step up enforcement against illegal drag racing. In certain provinces there are already specialised task teams in place and special operations targeting illegal drag racing," Ndebele said.

"We cannot dice with death and play games on our roads. So motorists who engage in such illegal activities must be apprehended and must face the consequences of their actions," he said.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said dicing was a contravention of the Road Traffic Act.

"It is a wilful and wanton disregard of the safety of other road users," Minnaar said.

He said dicing racers could be charged for offences such as racing on a public road, exceeding the speed limit, spinning wheels on a public road, reckless and negligent driving and culpable homicide in the case of death.

He said more than 100 illegal racers were arrested between 2002 and 2007.

Fatal illegal drag incidents include:

l The death of a 61-year-old woman in Cape Town at the weekend, whose car was hit by two dragsters on the notorious Klipfontein Road.

l The burning to death of the driver of a custom-built sports car in Sandton, Johannesburg, last year after it collided with aLamborghini.

X