Carl Pistorius case: Conflicting versions

2013-04-03 17:33
Carl Pistorius (Picture: Sapa)

Carl Pistorius (Picture: Sapa)

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Vanderbijlpark - A Gauteng court heard conflicting versions on Wednesday of an accident involving Carl Pistorius, paralympian Oscar Pistorius's brother, during which a motorcyclist was killed.

Pistorius' lawyer Kenny Oldwage told the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court that the version of events of the State's first witness was not a true reflection of what happened in the March 2008 crash.

Oldwage was questioning Anton Coetzee, who witnessed Maria Barnard's motorbike colliding with Pistorius's bakkie in River Road in Vanderbijlpark.

"Do you agree, that my client's version of events are supported by the evidence?" asked Oldwage.

Coetzee conceded: "If it is how he feels, then I'll accept that."

Oldwage read out Pistorius's version of the accident and said he would testify that he was driving next to a Volkswagen Fox when he heard a noise coming from the undercarriage of his car.

He then observed a motorcycle was airborne and to the right of his bakkie.

Pistorius would testify that he applied brakes and "safely" brought his vehicle to a standstill.

"My client denies in the strongest terms that he drove his vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner," Oldwage said.

Oldwage added that the driver of the Volkswagen Fox would testify that Barnard was driving at a high speed.

Oldwage asked if under the circumstances, that the road was in a semi-agricultural area, it would be "reckless" to overtake a vehicle that was in the oncoming lane and in the process of overtaking.

Coetzee conceded.

Suddenly swerved

Pistorius faces a charge of culpable homicide with reckless and negligent driving, and alternatively driving without reasonable consideration for another person using the road.

Coetzee agreed that because Barnard's helmet was still on her head when he was at the accident scene he was unable to smell alcohol on her breath.

He added that she had not taken alcohol in his presence and did not know the exact speed at which she was travelling.

The court heard that a message of condolence posted on a website by Coetzee, "Dead men riding", came under question.

Coetzee had posted a tribute to Barnard shortly after the accident, referring to her as "Beloved Marietjie".

The court heard that Coetzee and Barnard were friends.

Earlier, Coetzee recalled the events that led to the accident, saying there was nothing Barnard could do to avoid bumping into Pistorius who had "suddenly swerved".

He said the bakkie was halfway over the white middle-lane and the bike hit the bakkie's tail-light.

Oldwage put it to Coetzee that according to police and the photograph, the skidmark from the motorbike was 18.3m long, showing that Barnard did try to brake.

He said this contradicted Coetzee's version that the accident happened too fast and that there was nothing Barnard could do.

Oldwage concluded his cross-examination of Coetzee on Wednesday afternoon.

Magistrate Buks du Plessis clarified the route taken by the bikers and the time constraints before he excused Coetzee.

The case was postponed to 25 April.

- SAPA
Read more on:    carl pistorius  |  johannesburg
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