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Truck driver fined R20 000 for damaging the historical Silver River bridge

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A 22-year-old truck driver, Asisipho Maqwazima has been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment wholly suspended for five (5) years on condition that he pays R20 000 into the account of the Department of Transport and Public Works for damaging the Silver River bridge by magistrate Frazer in George Magistrate court.

Silver River Bridge is a Provincial Heritage site located on Old George Road between George and Wilderness in the Western Cape.

“It is reported in March 2022 Maqwazima collided with a corner post of Silver River Bridge, causing it to break off and fall into the river below,” said Hawks spokesperson, Zinzi Hani.

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“The accused is reported to have failed to report the incident after the collision. It is understood that his charges came after a complaint from the Wildlife Trafficking and Cultural Heritage Section, Head Office to the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in George on 04 August 2022.

“Through preliminary investigation, the owner of the truck was traced and afterwards admitted that one of his drivers had caused the damage to the bridge.

silver river bridge crash truck driver
The corner post fell into the river below. Pic :George Herald

Read | Trucker forced to reverse 1,5km back after GPS sends him to a narrow bridge

“This further culminated in a summons being issued to the accused to appear in court,” Hani said.

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Maqwazima pleaded guilty to Contravening Section 27(18) of the National Heritage Resource Act, No 25 of 1999 which reads,

No person may destroy, damage, deface, excavate, alter, remove from its original position, subdivide or change the planning status of any heritage site without a permit issued by the heritage resources authority responsible for the protection of such site

According to Hani, the Department of Transport and Public Works confirmed that an amount of R20 000 was earlier yesterday paid into its account.

The estimated cost of the damages was approximately R50 000.

There is a road sign warning of the maximum allowed weight from the Wilderness side, however, there are no signs from the George side of the road.

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