/ 22 December 2008

Five SA Roadlink buses impounded

At least five SA Roadlink buses were impounded along KwaZulu-Natal’s busy N3 highway on the weekend during a massive road blitz, the Transport Department said on Monday.

Spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha said eight luxury coaches were impounded, five of them from SA Roadlink.

”Of the five SA Roadlink buses, three were found to be unroadworthy and another two drivers were travelling without permits.”

The other three luxury coaches — of City to City, SA Tours, and Gumede Transport — were also found with defects.

The impounding of SA Roadlink buses comes after the national bus operator on Friday obtained an interim court order in the Pietermaritzburg High Court preventing provincial transport minister Bheki Cele from suspending its operating licence.

Judge Isaac Madondo said there was a possibility that SA Roadlink would suffer irreparable harm and that Cele had not provided any evidence before the court that there would be more accidents.

Cele has to file replying papers by December 28 and the two legal teams will be back in court on January 8 to argue the matter.

Cele withdrew the company’s operating permit pending the outcome of an investigation into a crash last week, involving an SA Roadlink bus and two other vehicles, which claimed the lives of 11 people. — Sapa