Tue, 02 Jun 2020

Duduzane Zuma back in court for closing arguments

20 Jun 2019, 16:10 GMT+10

Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, is one step closer to knowing his fate regarding a culpable homicide charge he faces after his Porsche 911 Turbo crashed into a taxi in 2014, killing a woman.

The Randburg Magistrate's Court is on Thursday expected to hear closing arguments in the case. Zuma previously told the court he is not guilty of culpable homicide.

Phumzile Dube died after the Porsche crashed into the taxi she was travelling in just after the Grayston Drive off-ramp on the M1 in Sandton.

When Zuma took the stand previously, he explained there had been heavy rain and poor visibility on the day.

He also told the court that he had not driven faster than 120km/h and that, at the time of the accident, he had been driving at 90-100km/h because of the weather.

He said he had hit a puddle of water, which resulted in his vehicle losing control and spinning. His car spun and hit an "object". He did not recall what exactly the object was.

Last month, two witnesses corroborated the defence's account of what happened.

A forensic engineer and accident reconstruction expert, Konrad Lotter, said it was unlikely that Zuma had been driving at high speed at the time of the crash.

He said it was possible that the vehicle lost control due to aquaplaning. It was not necessary that it would have done so at an excessive speed, Lotter testified.

Eyewitness Michael Jankelowitz had testified that Zuma drove past him in the same direction about 5km from the crash site and had not been speeding.

"Certainly the speed was not excessive at all, in my opinion, as I was able to even see the number plate. I had time to actually see the number plate and see the car pass me," he said at the time.

The prosecution had grilled Zuma regarding the speed he was driving at at the time.

Prosecutor Yusuf Baba took Duduzane back to when he had an interview with the insurance assessor who dealt with his claim. He questioned why Zuma had informed the assessor that he was driving 70km/h, but was now giving a different version to the court.

Baba also asked whether Zuma had informed the assessor about the people he was with on the day and whether he was driving from a restaurant.

Zuma replied that when the assessor had asked him about the speed, he had given an approximation.

He also told the court that he did not recall seeing the taxi before hitting a puddle, claiming that all he could remember was that his car had hit the water, spun and veered to the left.

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