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Drunk driver to plead guilty after killing four youngsters

Drunk driver to plead guilty after killing four youngsters.
Drunk driver to plead guilty after killing four youngsters.

A driver who mowed down a group of young people‚ killing four last year‚ wants to enter into a plea bargain with the state. Lazarus Malatjie‚ 42‚ has been charged with murder after allegedly causing a crash that killed the youths. He is out on R3 000 bail.

He faces four charges of murder‚ attempted murder‚ drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving.

He was initially charged with culpable homicide in September last year‚ but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided to change the charge to murder after his blood alcohol tests came back positive.

Malatjie's blood alcohol level was almost six times the legal limit at 0.30g per 100ml while the legal limit is 0.05g.

The state then evoked the principle of dolus eventualis after laboratory tests proved that his blood-alcohol level during the crash was 0.30‚ far above the legal alcohol limit of 0.05.

Dolus eventualis was central in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. The term means that an accused who foresees that someone may be killed‚ reconciles himself with that possibility and proceeds‚ is guilty of murder.

On Monday‚ the defence informed the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court that they will draft a guilty plea and a suitable sentence and send it to the director of public prosecutions for consideration. The case is due back in court on May 30.

The state alleges that the youths were changing a tyre after having a puncture on September 9. They had stopped on a traffic island near the Nasrec offramp.

According to the charge sheet‚ Malatjie appeared from the offramp and drove straight into the youngsters.

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