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Sibusiso Siyaya languishes in prison as court denies him bail

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Sibusiso Siyaya, the driver of the truck that collided with a fully-laden bakkie, killing 20 people in Pongola last year, will remain in custody until his next court appearance.

He appeared in the Pongola Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, where his bail was denied.

“Siyaya is charged with 20 counts of culpable homicide after the truck that he was driving ploughed into a bakkie transporting school children in September last year,” said a provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.

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She said in Wednesday’s judgment, the court found that the state had proven its case that Siyaya was a flight risk who might abscond if released on bail.

Kara said the court found that it was not in the interest of justice to grant him bail and bail was thus refused.

Listen: “I was fleeing from police after blocking the road,” alleged Pongola crash driver confesses

The matter was adjourned to February 17, for the director of public prosecutions’ decision and further investigation.

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SA Trucker reported that a dashcam from another vehicle captured the side tipper truck plough into the bakkie, killing 18 children between the ages of 5 and 13 years old, a teacher and the bakkie driver.

The children were on their way home when the crash occurred.

According to Fikile Mbalula, the truck driver overtook on a barrier line and drove into the oncoming lane for over 1km, endangering the lives of other motorists.

Meanwhile, following the horrific crash, the community in the northern KwaZulu-Natal town has on several occasions blockaded trucks from using the N2 through Pongola.

On Wednesday, oPhongolo Mayor failed to persuade the community to open the national to trucks after they blocked them on Monday.

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The community is demanding that authorities monitor the trucks’ movement to avoid the recurrence of such a horrific accident. They accuse side tipper truck drivers of driving recklessly and causing crashes leading to loss of life.

The parties agreed to postpone the meeting to next week and until then the trucks won’t be allowed to use the N2 through Pongola.

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