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The trial judge who convicted and jailed taxi driver Jacob Humphreys will not hear his bail application, the Western Cape High Court ruled on Wednesday.
Humphreys was recently granted leave to appeal both his conviction and sentencing by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein.
The Western Cape High Court now has to decide whether to grant him bail pending a SCA decision.
He is serving an effective 20 years in jail after being convicted of murder by Judge Robert Henney, following a taxi accident on August 25, 2010 at the Buttskop level-crossing in Cape Town.
While taking children to school, Humphreys overtook a row of cars, ignored safety signals, and proceeded over the tracks.
A train hit the taxi, killing 10 of the children. Four others were seriously injured.
On Wednesday, the State requested that Henney hear the bail application rather than presiding Judge Rob Stelzner.
It contended Henney was best placed on the facts of the case and therefore the best person to decide whether bail should be granted.
Susan Galloway, for the State, said Henney was knowledgeable on the atmosphere of the trial and specifically, the public order.
Johann Engelbrecht, for the defence, believed that Stelzner was adequate for the bail hearing.
“It was considered fit to allocate this matter to your Lordship...and (therefore) your Lordship must hear it,” he said.
Stelzner dismissed the State's application and said he would give full reasons for this later on.
He would therefore preside over the bail hearing later on Wednesday. – Sapa