Taxi driver Jacob Humphreys served eight years behind bars. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Jacob Humphreys, the taxi driver convicted of killing 10 school children when he crashed into a train, has been freed after serving his eight-year jail term.

Humphreys has been back out for more than two months already, but his release was kept quiet, so much so that not even the families of his young victims were informed.

Speaking to his daughter at their Eerste River on Friday morning, she confirmed her father has been back home since 22 August 2018, five days before his 63rd birthday.

Humphreys was at home but refused to speak to Daily Voice. His daughter said they would not be granting any interviews.

“He is not going to talk to the media. I understand that feedback has to be given but no comment,” she said before shutting the door.

It is not clear if Humphreys is back on the job; a white taxi was spotted parked outside the house.

Correctional Services spokesman Simphiwe Xako confirmed Humphreys served his sentence at the Paardeberg Prison in Paarl: “He was released on 22 August 2018 after the expiry of his whole sentence.”

Ten children were killed in the horrific crash in Blackheath in 2010. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

On 25 August 2010, Humphreys illegally overtook several cars and drove through a closed boom at the Buttskop Level Crossing in Blackheath, and collided with a train.

His victims were Liesl Augis, 11, Jody Phillips, 13, Reece Smith, seven, Nolan February, 13, Michaelin de Koker, 11, Jason Pedro, 14, Nadine Marthinissen, 16, Jean-Pierre Willeman, 13, Cody Erasmus, 15, and Jade Adams, 10.

In 2011, Humphreys was convicted on 10 counts of murder and four of attempted murder, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

He approached the Supreme Court of Appeal, where the charges were changed to culpable homicide and his sentence was reduced to eight years.

Jody’s mother Valerie Phillips says she had no idea Humphreys had been released. Jody would have celebrated his 22nd birthday on 29 November.

“Correctional Services didn’t contact us like they did in the past,” she says.

“Whether he is in prison or out, it will not bring my son back. I made peace and I forgive him but I will never forget. He has made no contact with us yet.”

The parents of young victims of the Blackheath crash are seen at court during Humphries' case. File picture: Melinda Stuurman

Mom Abigail Marthinissen says her daughter Nadine would have celebrated her 25th birthday on December 31 and that Humphreys has yet to show remorse for what he did.

“He has shown no remorse. But I wish Mr Humphreys well and I cannot judge him,” she says.

Meanwhile Ingrid Augis, the mother of “Little Rock” Liesl would not comment on Humphreys’ release but mentioned that her daughter’s memory has been immortalised.

Liesl was dubbed “Little Rock” after surviving being raped and set alight in 2006.

Streets in a new housing complex in Belladonna Estate in Blue Downs have been named after the children.

“The fact that my child is being recognised gives me a good feeling because usually it’s only politicians and rich people’s children that are marked as important,” says Ingrid.

Daily Voice