Mandela accident specialist ‘lied to court’

2012-08-22 10:27

An accident specialist testifying in the culpable homicide trial resulting from the death of former president Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter had lied about a tyre course he attended.

“From what I have (been told) ... you have been less than honest with this court in your evidence,” Kenny Oldwadge, acting for Sizwe Mankazana, told the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court today.

“This which you stated (in your CV) to be a course that you covered is untrue.”

Witness Craig Proctor-Parker said he did not consider himself to be an expert on tyre failure, despite testifying on Monday that he had determined that a flat or burst tyre did not happen in the accident that killed Zenani Mandela.

Mankazana (25) faces a charge of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

He was a friend of the Mandela family and was taking Zenani home from a World Cup concert on June 11, 2010.
He was driving his father’s Mercedes-Benz on that night and was heading to Sandton when it crashed into a barrier.

Zenani, who was in the back seat, was killed.

Mankazana and another passenger were slightly injured but neither went to hospital.

The vehicle had hit a steel barrier, which penetrated the car.

Today, the court heard that Proctor-Parker had, in his CV, said he attended some courses relating to cars and tyres.

Among them was a course done at Apollo Tyres in Durban.

Oldwadge said he had contacted the factory and found out this was not a course but a tour.

The company sent Oldwadge a letter which he read out in court.

It said factory tours were frequently conducted and Proctor-Parker had been part of a tour group in February this year.

The tour, which lasted two hours, dealt with an overview of the tyre manufacturing industry.

“No training is initiated in the tour ... no training material was supplied to the group,” the letter said.

Apollo said it did not manufacture run flat tyres, which is the type of tyre the Mercedes had.

“At no stage did I report to be an expert in tyre failure,” said Proctor-Parker.

“I don’t consider myself an expert in tyres.”

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