Sanele Goodness May had been expected to formally apply for bail, but his lawyer Louis Barnard said the defence “wanted some preliminary issues ironed out”. The issues were included in a statement the investigating officer had submitted as part of the State’s plans to oppose bail, but it was not stated what these issues were.
With the agreement of the prosecution, May’s bail application was postponed to October 16. The accident occurred when the truck May was driving hit four fully-laden minibus taxis and two cars on the corner of Field’s Hill (M13) and Richmond Road in Pinetown shortly before 7pm on September 6.
Twenty-two people died on the scene, and another person died in hospital. May was initially charged with culpable homicide, but this was later changed to 23 counts of murder and a charge of reckless or negligent driving.
Before May’s appearance on Tuesday, a handful of people staged a protest outside the court building. The group of mostly women held posters reading: “Justice for Sanele May”. May entered court with a blanket over his head as photographers tried to take his picture.
Once magistrate Wendolyn Robinson had postponed the matter, May hugged several people and shook hands with several people behind him in the gallery. Among them were a number of people wearing Mazibuye African Forum shirts.
The Daily News reported in June that the Mazibuye African Forum wanted South Africans of Indian descent to lose their Black Economic Empowerment and affirmative action status as it believed they were not African.
The company for which May worked is owned by Gregory Govender, a South African of Indian descent.