PINETOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority has confirmed that the truck driver who ploughed into four taxis and a car, killing 22 people, will be charged with 22 counts of murder.
Sanele Goodness May, 23, from Swaziland appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court today -- he cried when he was brought into Court F.
May was arrested on Friday.
He was initially charged with culpable homicide, but NPA spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson confirmed that the charges had been upgraded to murder.
The charges arise from an accident, captured on a car video camera, in which May drove his articulated truck at high speed through a red traffic light and decimated four full minibus taxis and a VW Polo.
The horror smash occured on the corner of Fields Hill (M13) and Richmond road in Pinetown shortly before 7pm on Thursday.
Avoiding toll roads
KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC Willies Mchunu said truck drivers heading to Durban often use secondary roads in an attempt to avoid paying toll road fees to save the money for themselves.
"They are trying not to pay toll fees and therefore use that money for personal reasons. We suspect that is what happened in this case," he said.
Magistrate Wendolynn Robinson said today's appearance would be brief -- his case has been postponed until September 16.
A formal bail application will take place on September 18.
The NPA says he may face additional charges.
May remains in custody at the Pinetown police station holding cells.
Defence attorney Theasen Pillay confirmed that he had been appointed by Sagekal Logistics, the company which owned the truck, to represent May.
-- Additional reporting: Nontobeko Sibisa / eNCA
Additional reporting Sapa