Although the family of Olympic cyclist Burry Stander welcomed the ruling handed to black taxi driver Njabulo Nyawose, charged for culpable homicide and sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday at Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court, his lawyer has vowed to appeal against the court’s decision.
Magistrate Charmaine Barnard sentenced Nyawose to six years in jail, with three years suspended for five years on condition that he was not convicted of culpable homicide in the period of suspension. Barnard cancelled his driver’s licence as she said he should have acted with extra caution because of his passengers.
His attorney, Xolile Ntshulana, who offered his services for free when Nyawose could no longer afford to pay him, said his client had requested him to appeal the “harsh” decision.
“We are not happy with the decision and think the court should have been more lenient. He is a first-time offender and had shown remorse for his actions during the trial. But we are waiting for transcripts before we act. His licence has also been cancelled which was not fair because this means he will have to undergo a rigorous process when applying for his licence after serving his term.”
Stander’s mother, Mandie, said the sentence was “realistic” and accepted it. She was relieved that after two years of suffering the trial was over.
“As a parent, you never expect to outlive your children. Burry was only 25 and too young to go.”
Nyawose, 25, was travelling southbound on Marine Drive, near Shelly Beach, on January 3, 2013, when he crossed the barrier line on the north-bound lane to turn right into Stott Street. Stander had been cycling north in Marine Drive when the collision occurred. He suffered extensive “blunt force traumas”.
He died at the scene.
He finished fifth in the men’s cross-country race at the 2012 London Olympics and 15th at the Beijing Games four years earlier.
A source close to Nyawose, who did not want to be named, believed the “court failed to apply its mind thoroughly when it handed down sentence”. He also dismissed Barnard’s claim that Nyawose acted with gross negligence when he turned over a solid barrier line.
Source: Sunday Tribune