Advanced driver couldn’t have avoided Zuma’s accident – expert

2014-11-13 11:54

Even an experienced driver trained in defensive driving could not have avoided an accident on a rainy night, an inquest into a car accident involving President Jacob Zuma’s son has heard.

“If I was a defensive driver, and driving on that road under those circumstances, I could have experienced the same incident,” accident reconstruction expert Johannes Strydom told the inquest at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court today.

“Not even a defensive driver could have avoided that,” he said.

Magistrate Lolita Chetty had asked Strydom whether he blamed Duduzane Zuma for the accident.

Earlier, the inquest heard that the testimony of the expert contradicts the evidence of Zuma regarding the direction that his luxury car turned after hitting a puddle of water.

“Mr Zuma said his Porsche veered to the left after hitting a puddle; you have heard his evidence. Yesterday you explained how the accident happened and gave a demonstration. You said his car veered to the right. Why the inconsistency?” prosecutor Yusuf Baba asked Strydom.

Strydom replied that when a car hit a puddle it was possible that it would turn to the left, especially when there was too much water up front.

In his statement, President Jacob Zuma’s son said he lost control of his Porsche after it hit a puddle. It spun and hit the back of a minibus taxi, coming to a standstill facing oncoming traffic.

Zuma’s car rear-ended Jabulani Vusi Dlamini’s minibus taxi on a rainy night in February. Passenger Phumzile Dube was killed and three others were injured.

The accident happened on the M1 south offramp to Grayston Drive in Sandton.

In July, the National Prosecuting Authority said it declined to prosecute Zuma due to insufficient evidence. The matter would be referred to a magistrate for a formal inquest to determine whether the accident was caused by human error.

The inquest completed hearing evidence from witnesses.

Johan van Loggerenberg from the Johannesburg metro police department would not testify as planned, because it was concluded that his evidence and that of Strydom was the same.

The inquest decided it was not necessarily to have his input, and closing arguments would be heard.

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