N12 crash truck driver has record of reckless driving

It emerged in court today Isaac Marudeng has also previously been convicted of culpable homicide.

An 18-wheel articulated tipper truck ploughed into around 50 cars on the N12 in Alberton. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - It's emerged the driver of the truck that caused Tuesday's fatal pile up on the N12 highway has been previously convicted of culpable homicide as well as reckless and negligent driving in 1997.

Isaac Marudeng has appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court two days after what's been described as one of Johannesburg's worst ever crashes.

Four people were killed and scores others were injured when the truck ploughed into around 50 cars on the stretch of highway in Alberton.

Marudeng covered his head with a blue overall as he walked into the dock for the first appearance.

Marudeng, from Viljoenskroon in the Free State, covered his face for the majority of his appearance and spoke softly when asked to respond.

Prosecutors requested a postponement to determine whether the 44-year-old's driver's license had been revoked.

The driver's lawyers from van Staden and Kok in Potschefstroom who also

represent the courier company Benusi opposed the application and when

the matter was postponed they formally withdrew their services.

The state was granted a postponement to decide if it will lay additional charges.

This has left Marudeng confused and he will now have until next Wednesday to find another lawyer and prepare for his bail application.

On the day of the crash, a woman said the driver was shocked after observing what his vehicle had done.

"He kept saying 'my brakes have failed' and he was as horrified as we were at the carnage."

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says a preliminary investigation has revealed at the truck's breaks failed.

An eyewitness described the crash to Talk Radio 702's John Robbie on Tuesday morning.

The matter will be back in court next week.