Sanele Goodness May faces 22 counts of murder and a charge of reckless or negligent driving. A 23rd victim died in hospital at the weekend.
Sagekal Logistics owner, Gregory Govender called a closed meeting with the press on Monday morning. He did not attend but was instead represented by Lisa Sukdev, the public relations officer for Sagekal Logistics. Govender’s absence was said to be due the ‘numerous death threats’ he had received over the weekend.
Sukdev read from a statement written by Govender, “Given the speculation in the media as to the road worthiness of the vehicle, I was advised that it was in the public’s interest to have the vehicle thoroughly examined by an independent expert.”
The 18-wheeler is believed to have received its last service on Saturday, 31 August, the day the truck’s license expired. According to Govender, the company has always renewed the licenses for all its vehicles within the allotted 21-day period and, in his 12 years of owning the business, has not received a fine for operating an unlicensed vehicle.
Pillay was further instructed to verify May’s information and documents.
“On Saturday 14 September it was established that Sanele’s South African traffic register certificate is fraudulent. The information was furnished by the licensing authority in Pietermaritzburg,” said Govender in his statement.
According to Govender, Swaziland officials had verified that May’s public driving permit was also fraudulent.
Stan Bezuidenhout, the forensic collision homicide reconstructionist hired by Govender to perform the independent examination, has apparently demanded to audit Govender’s entire fleet as well as the truck in question. He insists it is his job to remain unbiased throughout the investigation.
“The driver is required to stop and engage the lowest gear and then continue. The speed limit for a 16-ton truck on Field’s Hill is 60km/h. It was found that the truck was in fifth gear at the scene,” said Bezuidenhout.
May’s case has been postponed to 8 October. A bail application hearing is due to be heard on 18 September.
Support for May continues to grow on the social network platform, Facebook with many offering all kinds of support for the young man and his family. A campaign to collect items for the families of those who were killed and injured in the horror crash has also enjoyed massive support from a wide sector of the community.