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Truck driver in Collins Chabane crash guilty of culpable homicide

Amukelani Rikhotso was convicted in the Mankweng Regional Court this afternoon where he admitted guilt.

FILE: The 29-year-old truck driver, Amukelani Rikhotso. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The truck driver involved in the crash that claimed the life of Minister Collins Chabane and his two bodyguards has been found guilty of culpable homicide, driving under the influence and of negligent driving.

Amukelani Rikhotso was convicted in the Mankweng Regional Court this afternoon where he admitted guilt.

Chabane and his bodyguards, Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Letsoane, were killed in the collision on the N1 highway between Polokwane and Mokopane early last year.

Limpopo police spokesperson Ronel Otto said, "The 29-year-old man was found guilty in the Mankweng Regional Court today and he will be sentenced on 15 June."

'RIKHOTSO WAS SLEEPING BEHIND THE WHEEL'

Last year, President Jacob Zuma said he believed Rikhotso was sleeping behind the wheel.

Rikhotso had tested positive for alcohol in his bloodstream at the scene of the crash.

Zuma said it's up to all motorists to drive safely and save lives.

"What this driver, in my view, did not do was to park the truck and rest. I'm clear he was sleeping. He woke up and saw the car, he did not know what he was doing and swerved. The rules say when you feel tired or fatigued, stop and sleep."

Zuma encouraged South Africans to continue the struggle for a better life for all in memory of Chabane.

"We must honour his memory by continuing the struggle for a better life for all, especially the poor and the working class to which he committed his entire life."

He said Chabane was an empowering and inspirational individual.

Zuma added that government and the ANC were devastated by his passing.