Charge teen with murder if his blood tests prove positive, RTMC says

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The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is pushing for a teen – who was driving a car that crashed, killing two people – with murder if his blood tests return positive for the presence of alcohol.

The young man was reportedly driving a BMW M4 that crashed into a tree, killing two people and seriously injuring one in Vereeniging.

It is believed the driver was involved in a road race with another vehicle when he appeared to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a tree. Video evidence has emerged on social media, which shows the occupants of the car urging the driver to go faster. The footage shows that none of the passengers were wearing seat-belts.

The driver appeared in court on Monday and faces charges related to driving under the influence and culpable homicide.

The chief executive officer of the RTMC, Makhosini Msibi, urged the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to not be lenient with the driver.

“This crash demonstrates vividly how young people fail to take responsibility for their own safety and other motorists once they get behind their high-speed vehicles. Every weekend parents bury their loved ones who die because of the deliberate, unacceptable and irresponsible conduct of drivers who disregard the rules of the road. This has got to stop,” Msibi said.

He said that if blood samples taken from the driver at the scene of the accident came back positive for the presence of alcohol, the NPA should upgrade the charge of culpable homicide to murder.

“We note that the blood samples have been from the accused have been taken for analysis and we call on the National Prosecution Authority to upgrade the charges from culpable homicide to murder if it should be established that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol or other substance at the time the accident occurred,” he said.

The NPA has set a precedent by doing this before. In April this year, Lazarus Malatjie saw his charge sheet amended after his blood samples came back positive. He reportedly hit five youngsters, killing four and injuring one.

After his blood tests came back positive, his charge sheet was amended to murder and attempted murder.

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