Johannesburg - Justice Project South Africa has welcomed the twenty-year sentence for three counts of culpable homicide, reckless driving and driving under the influence handed down to Kriesen Moodley by Magistrate Anand Maharaj in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday.
Justice Project chairman Howard Dembovsky said this case proved once and for all that properly prosecuted cases result in sound convictions; then the interests of the victims, their families and society at large can be taken into account in sentencing.
And unlike high-profile reckless driving cases where the drivers were incorrectly prosecuted for murder, there was very little likelihood of a successful appeal against either the conviction or the sentence. Had those cases been prosecuted in this way, Dembovsky insisted, the perpetrators would not have gotten off the hook.
This case also showed that there was no need to trample on an accused’s constitutional rights to get a conviction, as the RMTC and and the monster of transport have repeatedly proposed, he added.
“All it takes is that cases must be properly prosecuted and judges given enough evidence to convict guilty people and sentence them accordingly,” he said.
Increased physical and visible law enforcement was key to reducing the carnage on South Africa’s roads, he said, but part of the solution lay in sending strong deterrent messages to those who believe that killing people as a result of dangerous driving is not a serious matter.