Matsha driver in court
IN COURT: Thoomadi

Faces nine counts of causing death by dangerous driving

The driver of the overloaded truck that overturned, causing the death of nine Matsha College students, appeared before Molepolole Magistrates Court this week for initial case management.

43-year-old Dogi Thoomadi is facing nine charges of causing death by dangerous driving in the tragic incident, which dates back to 13 November 2015.

In his brief court appearance, the Letlhakeng District Council employee pleaded that the officers who assigned him to transport the students were also brought before court.

When addressing the court, state prosecutor Farayi Mahwite, of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), revealed they have served Thoomadi with relevant documents including witness statements and case summary.

“We shall also furnish the accused with the sketch plan and inspection reports as soon as possible,” added Mahwite.

For her part, presiding Magistrate, Rosemary Khuto ordered the prosecution file all relevant documents before August 1st.

Plea has been reserved and the case is set for mention on September 19.

The Matsha tragedy is one of the bloodiest episodes in Botswana’s history, resulting in the deaths of: Olebogeng Ngakaagae, Joyce Tsogwane, Sekhuto Mmualebe, Olebile Mosielele, Irene Molebeledi, Barati Phetolo, Neo Kealotswe, Lydia Gakelebone and Oreeditse Kebopelwang.

The deceased were among 126 other Matsha College students crammed into the back of a Hino truck. They were being transported home having just completed their Form 5 examinations at the Kang-based school.

It is alleged that Thoomadi had been speeding when the truck suffered a burst tyre and overturned at Dutlwe along the Morwamosu-Letlhakeng road in Kweneng District.

Five students died on the scene while a further four succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

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