Driver tells of ‘panic’ in parking lot

2016-05-12 10:30
Shakile Saktu

Shakile Saktu (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - Motorist Shakile Saktu denied on Wednesday that he deliberately tried to run down a man in the Liberty Midlands Mall parking lot in 2012 following a row over a parking spot.

Saktu, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder (alternatively reckless and negligent driving) told regional magistrate Bhekizitha Phoswa he “assumes” the man — Luchelle Joubert — had hit his car as he drove past him.

Saktu testified that at the time he was “feeling panicky” because he had heard Joubert call out to family members to “get a gun”.

He did not stop after the accident as he was afraid of the gun, he said.

“There was a car in the front and he [Joubert] was walking basically in the centre of the two lanes. I tried to avoid the car and he was there … I tried to pass him and I think he hit my car and I drove off,” he said.

Saktu said he thinks Joubert hit his windscreen because it was “bust” on the left side.

Saktu, who is from Estcourt, said the drama unfolded when he arrived at the mall to buy medication for his daughter on August 9, 2012.

“I found a parking spot and as I drove in, entered rather, there was this white guy that hit my bonnet with his hand. He started swearing at me and calling me names,” said Saktu.

He said the man in question was Joubert.

“I can’t recall clearly because it was a long time ago … but what I remember is that he said, ‘What the f*****g hell c**lie. What are you doing?’ He then said to me he had this parking [spot] first. I screamed back at him because I was angry at this point because he started picking on me racially. So I said to him, ‘Why are you shouting and swearing at me?’,” said Saktu.

According to Saktu he had reversed back out of the parking space and parked his car “on the side”.

“I jumped out of my car and I asked him again; ‘Why are you swearing at me?’ I then opened my car boot and I pulled out a wheel spanner to defend myself,” he testified.

Saktu said Joubert “constantly” swore at him during the fracas.

“He said he will hit me, if I remember correctly … He was very aggressive,” he added.

Asked why he did not simply drive away instead of stopping at the scene, Saktu said it was because he was angry “at the stuff” Joubert was saying.

He confirmed that two security guards at the mall had tried to intervene.

He said after he had pulled out the wheel spanner, he realised Joubert was with other people as he heard Joubert scream out to them to “get the gun”.

Saktu said he jumped back in his car and drove off but found the way out was blocked by another car.

“Panicking” he made a u-turn and as he drove past Joubert who was walking in the road, Joubert hit his car.

“After I heard about the gun I was very panicky,” Saktu testified.

Saktu told the court he did not intentionally drive into Joubert and said he never had any intention of killing him.

He said he didn’t stop because he was “afraid after hearing about the gun”.

Asked how fast he was driving, Saktu replied; “I was driving a Corsa 1.4 so I couldn’t have been going that fast.”

The wife of the alleged victim, Ronel Joubert, testified earlier in the trial that she is convinced Saktu deliberately knocked down her husband. She said she saw him make a u-turn in his Corsa and race towards her husband. After running him down, he sped off, she said.

Ronel said she saw the windscreen of the Corsa shatter as her husband’s head came into contact with it and he fell down with his legs jerking “as if he was having a fit”.

He received first aid at the scene and was later admitted to Grey’s Hospital overnight.

The case has been adjourned to June 10.

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