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Field’s Hill truck owner appears in court

Industry news
The owner of the truck that ploughed into vehicles on Field’s Hill in 2013, killing 24 people, looks set to stand trial.

Gregory Govender, the owner of Sagekal Logistics CC, appeared briefly in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, when his legal team was expected to make representations. But State advocate Alistair Walters told the court that these were still outstanding.

Walters said the prosecution had been waiting for the defence to make representations for the past five or six months and that they now wanted the matter to go to trial.

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Traffic officers inspect some of the trucks owned by Sagekal Logistics. At the front is the truck that caused an accident on Fields Hill. Picture Zanele Zulu / Independent Media.

The case was adjourned until later this month, for a trial to be set down in the regional court.

Govender was accompanied by his wife yesterday. His lawyer, Theasan Pillay, was not present and sent a colleague to stand in for him. Govender appeared forlorn in the dock, with video cameras pointed at him. Before he was charged, he was quoted as saying he was “ruined” after the horror crash. He now stands accused of contravening the National Road Traffic Act and the Immigration Act and of operating an unroadworthy vehicle.

On September 5, 2013, one of his trucks careered down the M13 and crashed into four taxis and two cars at the bottom of Field’s Hill.

Govender was not initially charged, but it emerged during the bail application of the driver, Sanele May, that the truck was not roadworthy and that May was an illegal immigrant.

Govender was summoned to court in June last year, and made his first appearance a month later.

His case has since been postponed several times.

May entered the country illegally. In November 2014, he pleaded guilty to and was convicted of various charges, including 24 counts of culpable homicide. He is serving an eight-year term.

The Mercury

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