Swazi national Sanele May is currently serving an eight-year jail term at Umzinto Correctional Services Centre. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/ANA Pictures
Durban - Sanele May, the driver who became a household name after the deadly Field’s Hills crash in 2013, has denounced violence affecting the trucking industry.

Speaking at the uMzinto Correctional Centre where he is serving his sentence, May said he was against the destructive approach which has resulted in torching of trucks.

He said although he advocated for better working conditions, torching and looting of property was not what he believed in.

May was arrested after the September 5, 2013 tragedy, he spent 15 months in Westville Prison before he was sentenced to eight years behind bars in 2014.

He said he was aware truck owners were not all the same, some looked after their workers while others did not. May said he did not feel his boss took advantage of him because he was a foreigner.

“I had only started there but I think he treated everyone the same but some take advantage and some are good to their drivers,” he said.

May admitted that his conditions in prison were very challenging.

He said owners should be responsible for the maintenance so fewer truck drivers and people on the roads are killed. 

He said a lot of onus should be placed on the truck owners who were responsible for the well-being of their drivers. May said his childhood was very difficult with no parents and he heard from other Swazis that job opportunities were much better in South Africa.

“We thought we would have a better life if we came to South Africa and could also earn more.

“I needed to look after my brother, Abnas, and educate him and thought this would be the way,” May said.

Peach Piche, of the Sanele May Support Group, said May was in good health and was playing soccer earlier in the day. She said May was aware of the torching and looting of trucks.

“He plays for the prison soccer team,” she said. The members of the Support Group make time to visit him at least every weekend.

Piche said May carried the trauma for unintentionally causing the accident, which claimed 24 lives. But she said May was a very kind person, sharing his meal with other prisoners.

“I brought him food and he ate a bit before giving it away to other prisoners. He is very kind-hearted. People need to know it has been very hard for him,” Piche said.

Sunday Tribune