Duduzane case: Difficult to anticipate water on road

2014-11-12 19:51
Duduzane Zuma is seen in court. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Duduzane Zuma is seen in court. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - No driver can anticipate that there will be a puddle on the road while driving, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

"No one can anticipate that there would be a puddle on the road, especially on a beautiful freeway," accident reconstruction expert Johannes Petrus Strydom told the inquest in the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

Strydom was hired by President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane Zuma to reconstruct and analyse the accident in which Zuma's Porsche rear-ended a minibus taxi, killing a taxi passenger in February.

The accident happened on a rainy night on the M1 south off-ramp to Grayston Drive in Sandton.

Prosecutor Yusuf Baba had put it to Strydom that it would have been possible for Zuma to avoid the accident if he reduced speed while driving on a declining wet road.

"Mr Strydom, had Zuma reduced speed like a normal driver at that point when he said he lost control of the vehicle, he could have avoided the accident," Baba said.

Strydom said he disagreed.

"The problem is to what speed level do you reduce your speed? A defensive driver can control what's happening in front through a following distance, but one has no control of the driver coming from behind," Strydom said.

Baba told Strydom that various courts had convicted drivers for reckless driving, even when driving at a lower speed.

"Are you aware that the courts have ruled that, especially under such weather conditions, the driver should check mirrors all the time and keep a good following distance," said Baba.

According to Zuma's statement, he lost control of his Porsche after it hit a puddle. It spun and hit the back of the taxi, coming to a standstill facing oncoming traffic.

Zuma's Porsche rear-ended Jabulani Vusi Dlamini's minibus taxi. Passenger Phumzile Dube was killed and three others were injured.

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.

Read more on:    duduzane zuma  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  accidents

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