Cape Town - The decision to reduce the charges and sentence of Western Cape taxi driver Jacob Humphreys was disappointing, the province's transport MEC Robin Carlisle said on Friday.
“We are never going to change the reckless and irresponsible behaviour on our roads unless severe consequences are imposed by our courts on those who kill on the roads,” he said in a statement.
“While I respect the judgment delivered by the respected Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in this instance, I do feel that the consequence of a murder conviction and a 20 year jail sentence was appropriate.”
Earlier on Friday, the SCA reduced the 20 year sentence imposed on Humphreys to eight years, and replaced his 10 murder convictions with 10 counts of culpable homicide. It also set aside four counts of attempted murder.
The minister said reducing the sentence and convictions showed that the highest courts had not yet fully understood the need for consequences as a deterrent to dangerous behaviour on the road.
Humphreys overtook a queue of cars waiting at the Buttskop level-crossing, Cape Town, on August 25, 2010, and tried to cross the railway line, even though the safety booms were down.
Ten children died and four were seriously injured when the train hit his minibus. - Sapa