Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle has slammed the suspended jail sentence handed down to Andries Zuiderma, the motorist convicted of killing a cyclist five years ago.
Carlisle said on Friday he would approach the Director of Public Prosecutions to intervene after Zuiderma was sentenced in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court to five years suspended for five years on a charge of culpable homicide, and sentenced to three years’ house arrest and a R5 000 fine or nine months in jail.
Zuiderma, 39, crashed his double-cab bakkie into a group of cyclists practising for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, and drove away from the scene in March 2006.
One of the victims, Jan Hendrik Olivier, 39, from Joburg who was in Cape Town with his family for the Cycle Tour, was killed.
At the request of his defence attorney William Booth, Zuiderma will be allowed to pay the fine off in monthly installments of R1 000. His driving licence was also suspended for nine months.
But yesterday Carlisle said he was shocked and outraged at the sentencing.
“This is, in its practical effects, a R5 000 fine, payable in R1 000 installments, for killing an innocent human being.
Here referred to the sentence as a “slap on the wrist”
“While I respect the independence of the judiciary, I am deeply concerned that the sentence handed down slaps Olivier’s family through the face much harder than it slaps Zuiderma on the wrist.”
Carlisle added that stiffer sentences were needed.
“No matter what we as road safety authorities do to save lives, no matter how many millions are spent from public coffers, so long as there are no real consequences for those who kill and maim innocent cyclists, motorists and pedestrians on our roads, 15 000 South Africans will be senselessly killed each year.”