Driver arrested for schoolgirl taxi killings to appear in court

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DURBAN, March 7 – The 33-year-old taxi driver who ploughed into four Durban schoolgirls on Wednesday, killing three and seriously injuring one, is set to appear in court for the first time on Thursday.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, lieutenant-colonel Thulani Zwane, said the suspect would appear at the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on charges of culpable homicide.

The girls were hit at around 7 am along the Dumisani Makhaye Highway as they were walking to the Newlands East Secondary School.

It is alleged that the driver skipped a red robot and hit the girls with such force that they were dragged along the road for several metres.

Angry community members took to the streets shortly after the incident, burning tyres and stoning the taxi. They blockaded the road and demanded that speed humps be constructed on the road. Public order police were called to the scene to restore calm.

The 33-year-old driver allegedly fled the scene but turned himself in at a police station, where he was arrested.

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said on Wednesday afternoon that she would take personal responsibility for ensuring that the construction of speed humps along the road was expedited.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Wednesday night that it welcomed the arrest of the driver and called for bail to be denied.

The province’s MEC for safety, security and transport, Mxolis Kaunda, was expected to visit the families of the deceased on Thursday or Friday.

Kaunda said on Wednesday that recently released statistics on road accidents and fatalities revealed that most of the crashes on the country’s roads were as a result of “human error”.

“Our major concern is that these crashes claim the lives of young people who are expected to contribute immensely in the development of our country,” said Kaunda.

– African News Agency (ANA)