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Durban - Just weeks after an articulated truck owned by a Durban company ploughed into several vehicles killing 23 people, after its brakes reportedly failed, another of its trucks has been impounded.
Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officers on Thursday pulled over a truck belonging to Sagekal Logistics and apparently found that its brakes were defective.
The company, owned by La Lucia businessman, Gregory Govender, has been in the news after the deadly Fields Hill, Pinetown, crash earlier this month.
Govender said he was aware that one of his trucks had been impounded on Thursday night.
He claimed his trucks were being intentionally targeted by authorities after the Fields Hill crash. His attorney, Theasen Pillay, would be handling the matter, he said.
The Daily News photographed the impounded truck at the Pinetown RTI offices on Thursday night.
The driver, a Zimbabwean woman, was arrested and charged for obstruction of traffic and for the alleged poor condition of the truck.
Govender said his lawyer tried unsuccessfully last night to locate the driver at the Pinetown police station. He said police and RTI officials refused to divulge any information to him or his lawyer.
RTI officials were called to the N3, near the Hammarsdale off-ramp, after receiving reports of an 18-wheel truck that had run out of diesel and was causing traffic congestion. A source said the truck was taken for testing and weighing in Pinetown after the officers assisted with the refuelling.
“It was then found that the brakes of the trailer and the truck had failed,” the source said.
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, confirmed that an 18-wheel truck had been taken off the N3 on Thursday after it caused an obstruction.
He said the truck had defective brakes. The driver was expected to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Govender said after the terrible Fields Hill crash, all his trucks were being pulled over by RTI authorities and inspected.
“Usually after inspecting the truck, they inform the drivers what the problems are - if its overloaded or what. But with my truck they have not told me anything.”
Govender could not say when the truck’s brakes were last serviced. “But all my trucks were checked again last week,” he said.
He could also not say how long the Zimbabwean driver had been working for him.
“With all the stuff that is going on, it is very hard to remember some things.” He said that since it emerged this week that Sanele May was driving with fraudulent documents, he had begun verifying all his drivers’ documents.
“We are now waiting for a response from Swaziland and Zimbabwe for confirmation on those papers,” he said.
Govender said his business had taken a knock as two of his biggest clients pulled out.
“They represent 60 percent of all our work. Right now all my trucks are sitting in the yard doing nothing. The truck that was pulled over last night was the last one on the road.”
May is due to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on October 8 for a bail hearing. He is facing murder and reckless and negligent charges.