The driver who caused the collision that killed Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere and Kady-Shay O’Bryan has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the Randburg Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
“Culpable homicide is one of the most serious crimes one can commit. Road users generally don’t feel safe,” magistrate David Mahango said while handing down his sentence.
“I can not understand what could have influenced him to drive so recklessly. The only realistic punishment is a term of imprisonment.”
Mahango said he could not disregard the level of road carnage in South Africa and that ordinary road users were tired of such behaviour.
“I cannot understand what could have influenced him to drive so recklessly.”
Mhere and his friend, Kady-Shay O’Bryan, were killed in a car crash involving three cars, which happened on William Nicol Drive in Fourways, Johannesburg, on January 31, 2015. Preshalin Naidoo, 27, was found guilty of two counts of culpable homicide in January. He had been driving at more than 200 kilometres an hour shortly before the crash.
The public gallery was filled with friends and family members of Naidoo. Some were crying after the sentence was handed down.
Earlier, state prosecutor Dinesh Nandkissor said Naidoo chose not to plead guilty and made the families relive the incident, putting Mhere’s father through anguish.
He added Naidoo did not take the stand, where he could have apologised to the families of Mhere and O’Bryan.
“What message is being sent to the public if the accused is given a suspended sentence?” Nandkissor said.
He said the court needed to remember that Naidoo was found guilty of causing the deaths of Mhere and O’Bryan and that it should not be taken lightly.
“He is a licensed driver, and should’ve known that there were other people on the road.”
Nandkissor said in respect of Naidoo, making payments to O’Bryan’s child were irrelevant because she was already well looked after.
“At no stage did he take responsibility for his actions. Correctional supervision is not an appropriate sentence.”
Following proceedings, the Mhere and O’Bryan families said they felt the sentence was appropriate, although it would not bring back the lives of their loved ones.
“It does bring closure to an extent,” said Mhere’s father, Joseph.
The matter postponed to Tuesday for the state to respond to Naidoo’s leave to appeal application.
Magistrate Mahango remanded Naidoo into custody.