Zenani Mandela crash driver acquitted

2012-11-06 14:27

The driver in a 2010 crash that killed former president Nelson Mandela’s great-granddaughter was has been acquitted, his lawyers said.

Sizwe Mankazana (25) was found not guilty on all counts at the conclusion of the state’s case, his lawyer Hulme Scholes said.

He said the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court concluded there was no reasonable prospect of convicting Mankazana on the state’s evidence.

Mankazana faced charges of culpable homicide, driving under the influence of liquor, and reckless or negligent driving.

He was driving Zenani Mandela (13) home after the 2010 World Cup Concert at the Orlando stadium on June 11, 2010.

Their Mercedes-Benz hit a steel barrier, part of which penetrated the car, killing Zenani at the scene.

Scholes said the magistrate described the crash as a “freak accident”.

He said the State failed to identify that mechanical failure in the car was the likely cause of the accident.

Mankazana said he would not be celebrating.

“I am thankful that the trial has come to an end. Most of all, I am thankful that everyone who loved ‘Zeni’ now knows the true circumstances surrounding her death,” he said in a statement.

He said he lost a niece he loved, and her family had also lost the light of their lives.

“I hope that the truth will help us all to heal, but I fear that the pain will remain with us forever.”

Comment from the National Prosecuting Authority could not be immediately obtained.

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