A 22-year-old truck driver whose vehicle ploughed into 45 cars on the M41 in Durban earlier this month, says he will plead not guilty to all charges against him. Sithulile Zulu appeared before the Durban Magistrate’s Court to apply for bail.
Zulu is facing charges of reckless and negligent driving and failure to comply with the duties of a driver following the incident.
The bail application has been adjourned to the 31st of March for the state to verify his documents presented to the court by his lawyer, Clinton Short. The documents presented in court include the copy of a driver’s licence with a professional driving permit as well as a valid passport.
It is believed that Zulu’s truck veered off the road and overturned a few hundred metres from the crash site. One person died and over 20 people were injured in the crash that involved multiple vehicles.
After initially fleeing the scene, Zulu handed himself over to the police later on the same day of the accident. State prosecutor Seema Reddy told the court that Zulu was a flight risk as he allegedly fled the scene after the accident.
“There is a very strong possibility of further persons being charged on this matter, and due to the connections between these individuals and the accused there is a serious risk and the life of the accused or there will be an effort by these individuals to influence him to evade trial should he be released on bail. The accused has not been forthcoming about the details of his employer or telephone details, he has been uncooperative. I apply that the courts refuse bail of the applicant for the following reasons; the applicant is charged with a serious offence and is considered a flight risk and further the accused’s life will be endangered if he is released on bail.”
Meanwhile, Zulu’s lawyer Clinton Short told the court that the state has been furnished with Zulu’s physical address and that the accused has no reason to flee the country.
“I deny that if admitted to bail that I will attempt to influence or intimidate witnesses and I further in particular deny that I will conceal or destroy evidence relevant to my prosecution. Following my arrest, and upon being charged in terms of counter 1 and counter 2, which formed the basis of the charge sheet that was drafted in my court appearance, I at the time of still being charged submitted a warning statement to assist the police with anything for additional investigation to be carried out in this matter. To my knowledge the state is in position of evidence pertaining to the truck that was involved in the collision as well as vehicle registration that was recovered in such vehicle.”
Zulu has been remanded in custody. The bail application continues next week.
Bail application for KZN truck driver postponed: