Death crash taxi driver must still face charges

2014-12-01 00:00

A REGIONAL court magistrate has ruled that a taxi driver charged with causing the death of Lynette du Bois in the city in March 2007 has a case to answer.

Regional magistrate Helgaard ­Fobian on Friday dismissed a defence application for the acquittal of the taxi driver, Sibongiseni Khuzwayo, at the end of the state’s case.

Khuzwayo’s lawyer, Siyabonga L. ­Kunene, based the application on ­submissions that state witnesses who gave evidence in the case were “so weak” that no court could reasonably rely on their evidence.

One of the witnesses whose evidence he criticised was Du Bois’s husband, Grant, who was driving their car when it was involved in a collision with ­Khuzwayo’s vehicle at the intersection of West and Langalibalele ­(Long­market) streets on March 16, 2007.

Another was Elizabeth Steyn, the driver of a bakkie which, according to the evidence, had either just overtaken or was in the process of overtaking the Du Bois’s vehicle when the collision ­occurred.

Kunene also submitted that there was an error on the sketch plan handed in by an expert witness from the police Accident Unit, and said this called into question all evidence regarding the point of impact.

He maintained the plan illustrated five “lanes” in Langalibalele Street when in reality there were only four.

However, Fobian disagreed.

He said an inspection of the scene had revealed that there were in fact five lanes “depending how you look at it”, because one lane ended where a pavement encroached on it.

He said the defence had not disputed that Khuzwayo was the driver of the minibus involved in the collision, and the post mortem made it clear that Du Bois’s death was caused by injuries she sustained in the accident.

“There was no allegation that she was injured before the collision,” he said.

Fobian said it was not for the court to decide on the credibility of witnesses at this stage.

He agreed with state prosecutor N. Bhengu that Khuzwayo has a case to meet, and ordered that he be placed on his defence.

The case was postponed until January 27 for the defence case.

•The court was earlier told that the prosecution had located all the missing recordings relating to the case, except one CD containing the charges that were put to the accused. The court, however, granted the state’s application to submit a fresh charge sheet reflecting a main charge of culpable homicide and two alternative charges against the ­accused. The alternative charges are reckless and negligent driving and ­inconsiderate driving.

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