LifeStyle & Health

Truck driver gets eight years for horror crash that claimed 18 lives

A Mozambican truck driver who caused the 2017 horror crash that claimed the lives of 18 people and injured 10 outside Machadodorp has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sebastian Macaucau was sentenced by the Middleburg regional court on charges of culpable homicide for causing the fatal crash in Mpumalanga. 

Five years of his eight-year sentence have been suspended for four.

His negligent driving caused the accident on 4 July 2017 when his truck collided head-on with two minibus vehicles on the R541 outside Machadodorp.

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“The collision happened when the driver of the truck crossed the centreline and crashed with two minibus vehicles travelling in the opposite direction,” according to a statement by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

Macaucau was arrested on the scene.


The trial lasted for five years.

Evidence provided by the RTMC included expert evidence, on-site investigations and a full mechanical investigation.

All the reports were done and submitted to the Saps to form part of the case docket against the accused.

“The defence also called a mechanical engineer to give evidence in defence of the accused,” read the statement.

The RTMC welcomed the sentence but said it had hoped for the judge to have imposed a harsher sentence.

“This will send a message to other reckless drivers that they could spend time in prison for inconsiderate and negligent behaviour on the roads,” read the statement.

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