Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Pongola horror crash: Truck driver to go on trial in April

The accident killed 18 school pupils, aged between five and 12, and two adults.

The truck driver behind the N2 Pongola crash, which claimed the lives of 20 people in northern KwaZulu-Natal in September last year, made his first court appearance for a pre-trial conference on Monday.

Sibusiso Siyaya is charged with 20 counts of murder, after the truck that he was driving ploughed into a bakkie transporting school children in September 2022.

Bail denied

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the matter was adjourned to 15 April 2024, for trial.

“The matter will be held in the high court sitting at the Pongola Magistrate’s Court. Siyaya will remain in custody.”

Siyaya was denied bail last year after the Pongola Magistrate’s Court found the state had proven its case that the truck driver was  a flight risk who might abscond if released on bail.

The court also found that it was not in the interest of justice to grant him bail and bail was thus refused.

ALSO READ: Pongola horror crash: Truck driver denied bail

Truck crash

During his last court appearance, Siyaya also opposed the media’s application to film or photograph the proceedings of his case, saying he feared for his safety and retaliation from the community.

The accident killed 18 school pupils, aged between five and 12, and two adults.

Preliminary indications pointed to human error and failure to adhere to the rules of the road as the cause of the accident.

The 28-year-old handed himself over to police after allegedly fleeing from the scene of the accident.

Duduza man sentenced

Meanwhile, the Pretoria High Court sitting in Benoni has sentenced a 26-year-old Duduza man to 15 years in prison for killing his girlfriend.

Lundokuhle Innocent Radebe from Duduza near Nigel appeared in court on Monday where judgment was handed down.

Radebe was sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment for murder and five years for defeating the administration of justice. The court ordered that the sentences should run concurrently and that he be declared unfit to possess a firearm.

Radebe killed his 20-year-old girlfriend, Thandeka Tshabalala, in 2021.

ALSO READ: Pongola horror crash: Case against truck driver postponed for bail hearing

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits