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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Sithulile Zulu Pleads For Bail, Denies Reckless Driving Charge

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Sithulile Zulu, the truck driver accused of reckless driving which caused multiple-vehicle crash on the M41 in Umhlanga, has denied the charges against him and has pleaded with the state for bail.

Zulu made his third appearance at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, and his new legal representative, Clinton Short, read his affidavit in which he stated that he was not guilty of the charges.

Sithulile faces charges of reckless and negligent driving and failure to comply with the duties of a driver following a crash involving the truck he was driving and 46 other vehicles in Umhlanga.

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According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the incident caused damage calculated to be more than R500 000 so far.

Several people, including a pregnant woman, were injured, with injuries ranging from minor to serious, according to the police.

During Thursday’s court session, the State represented by Prosecutor Seema Reddy said the pregnant woman allegedly lost her baby after being involved in the accident.

The state opposes his bail application, citing the seriousness of the charges and the possibility of him being a flight risk.

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Reddy said granting bail to Zulu might jeopardise the ongoing probe amid the possibility of more arrests.

She also argued Zulu might try to interfere with State witnesses if he was granted bail, but he denied this.

Read | Truck Driver in M41 Umhlanga 46-Vehicle Pile-up Crash Appears in Court

Zulu’s lawyer argued that he was not a flight risk and had no prior convictions, pending prosecutions, or protection orders against him.

Zulu said none of the State witnesses could identify him and did not have a relationship with any of them.

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He pleaded with the court to release him on bail and said he was sole breadwinner for his three-year-old child.

Zulu said his work, which earned him R8 000 per month, allowed him to meet his obligations.

He argued he had no money to flee from his area of residence and would not be able to secure any assistance from any other area as he did not have family outside KZN.

The matter has been adjourned to March 31, 2023, for further verification of documents presented by the defence.

Zulu has been remanded back in custody at the Westville Prison.

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