“Put the brakes on heavies”, “Ban the heavies”, “How many more must die?” read some of the placards held by Pinetown and Kloof residents who gathered where a 22-wheeler truck collided into four taxis and a car two weeks ago.
Large white crosses indicated where the victims died. The accident has claimed 23 lives, after Nonhlanhla Khumalo succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Chatsworth on Friday night.
Sanele Goodness May, 23, the truck driver who was arrested after the crash, faces 22 counts of murder and one of reckless or negligent driving when he appears in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court today. It is unclear whether he will face another count of murder following Khumalo’s death. May is scheduled to apply for bail on Wednesday.
The KwaZulu-Natal legislature planned to debate banning trucks on back roads in the province this week, according to reports.
However, community safety department spokesman Kwanele Ncalana could not confirm this. Local councillor Rick Crouch said no date had been set for the debate.
He reiterated that the road should have been closed to trucks while investigations were going on. This was after KZN transport MEC Willies Mchunu and traffic officials confirmed that preliminary reports indicated the truck had faulty brakes.
An online petition calling for trucks to be banned from the M13 Field’s Hill road garnered more than 8 000 signatures yesterday, while another calling for justice for the truck driver gained more than 13 000 signatures.