The 43-year-old alleged drunk driver who was involved in the horrific crash in Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal, which claimed the lives of nine people and left 32 others injured, has been denied bail.
Sipho Ntuli, who had previously abandoned his bail in June, appeared in the Ubombo magistrate’s court on Tuesday where he was denied bail.
On June 10, Ntuli, who was driving an articulated truck, lost control and crashed into five vehicles which included two buses, one minibus taxi, one bakkie and a Toyota Condor.
Horrifying footage of the incident was captured on CCTV cameras at a nearby petrol station.
TimesLIVE previously reported that Ntuli, who is originally from Mtubatuba, was suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
Blood specimens from Ntuli had been taken and sent for testing by the state.
He is facing a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and nine counts of culpable homicide.
MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Bheki Ntuli applauded the magistrate’s decision to deny the accused bail.
“The court’s ruling will also send out a strong message to motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol in our province, especially during the festive season, and we believe such drivers should be harshly punished for their reckless behaviour,” said Ntuli.
“We commend the dedicated team from Jozini police station who worked tirelessly to build a watertight case.”
Ntuli said the province would be stepping up police visibility and law enforcement operations.
“This will include enhanced policing of transport-related crimes to reduce fatalities as part of the festive season safety plan and the provincial crime-fighting intervention programme titled Operation Vala, which will be launched by premier Sihle Zikalala on December 11.”
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)