The 30-year-old truck driver pinned for the N3 horror car accident involving a Greyhound bus liner in Van Reenen’s Pass this week will spend Christmas Day in a Harrismith holding cell, as court proceedings into his culpable homicide case have been postponed to 30 December 2020.
Free State Police Spokesperson, Thandi Mbambo, said the accused – Mduduzi Mdluli – will only then formally apply for bail in the Harrismith Magistrate’s Court. This as the Mdluli made his first appearance in the same courthouse on Wednesday, 23 December 2020.
Mdluli is reported to have been performing a U-turn next to the Caltex Garage outside Van Reenen’s Pass in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when the Greyhound bus liner – which was headed in the Harrismith direction – rammed into the truck’s trailer. The 54-year-old Greyhound bus driver was killed on impact, whilst seven passengers were moderately injured and treated at the scene.
The N3 claimed the lives of two more people in another horror collision on Wednesday morning, 23 December 2020, between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. A further twelve people were reportedly injured in the crash. The South African reports all that is known regarding the latter accident is that a container fell off a truck and landed on a fully loaded minibus taxi which was traveling in the same direction, resulting in the accident.
The Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has released the preliminary road fatality statistics for the festive season, indicating that 690 people have already died in car accidents thus far. The fatalities took place between 1 and 20 December. This is a decline of 5.7% from the same period last year.
According to Mbalulam the busiest route for traffic over the festive season has been the N3, from Johannesburg to Durban. As of 22 December that stretch of road has recorded 1 547 vehicles an hour on average.
The decline in road traffic over the festive season was anticipated due to the second wave of the COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on popular holiday destinations – including the Garden Route in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. It appears while there is a decline not all holidaymakers have been discouraged from travelling this festive season.