Sebastian Macuacua, the driver of the truck that was involved in a crash that claimed 18 lives in Machadodorp, Mpumalanga four months ago, has again applied for bail.
This comes after he was denied bail by the Belfast Magistrate’s Court in July.
Macuacua is facing 18 counts of culpable homicide.
He has been in custody for about four months now. He was denied bail on the basis that he is a flight risk.
However, the defence argues that Macuacua’s employer has now rented a place where he will reside while awaiting the trial to start.
They say he should, therefore, be granted bail.
The state, however, says Macuacua will evade the trial if granted bail.
National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson Monica Nyuswa has also revealed that the state is not ready for the trial.
“The accused brought new facts that his employer will lease a flat for the accused pending the finalisation of the matter. As the NPA, we still oppose bail, but the Presiding Officer will take the decision whether to grant the accused bail or not. Currently, the matter is still under investigation. There is still outstanding evidence used for (the) trial, like the final report from the accident reconstruction expert.”
Prior to Macuacua’s arrest it was alleged that minibus-taxis were trying to overtake each other when the incident occurred.
However, Macuacua was then arrested after a few hours upon realising that he gave statements that contradicted that of the survivors.
During his first bail application the state argued that Macuacua lost control of the truck and it veered onto oncoming traffic.
However, Macuacua’s legal representative, Themba Mkhwanazi, says they have hired an accident expert who will prove that Macuacua was not on the wrong side of the law.
“The investigating officer in July indicated that the investigation would be finalised within a month, but as in September 22, the investigations were not yet finalised. It is 3 months later now. We also hired our road plan drafters who went to the scene of the accident and they drafted a report that indicates as to what happened on the day in question; who was wrong end; who was on the right side of the lane. According to that report, it says Mr Macuacua was in a correct lane.”
Macuacua is expected to appear again in court on Friday.