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Testing station shut over crash truck

Durban -The KwaZulu-Natal testing station which issued a roadworthy certificate for a truck involved in a crash in which 24 people were killed has been shut down.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu made the announcement on Thursday.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

He said the operations of the Phoenix Testing Station in Durban's Phoenix Industrial Park had been suspended.

Mchunu's spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, said provincial transport authorities and police had uncovered fraud and corruption at the station.

It had been responsible for issuing the roadworthy certificate for a Sagekal Logistics lorry driven by Swazi national Sanele Goodness May. The truck went out of control on September 5 last year and ploughed through an intersection in Pinetown, killing 24 people.

May is currently in custody and on trial for 24 counts of culpable homicide.

In his last appearance in the Durban High Court earlier this week, the case was postponed to allow the State to consider charging more people in connection with the case.

An examiner and a clerk from the testing station, and a third person, were arrested in December last year. The examiner allegedly issued a roadworthy certificate while he was supposedly off sick.

At the time of the examiner's arrest, Road Traffic Management Corporation anti-corruption unit deputy chief Jody Pillay said it could not be ascertained whether the clerk and the examiner were involved in issuing the roadworthy certificate for May's lorry.

He said fraudulent certificates would be issued for as little as R250.

Mchunu added: “We have observed that unroadworthy vehicles, with all types of faults, have often been cited as major contributing factors and it is all because of individuals who have no respect for our laws and people's lives.”

Sapa

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