Mandela crash: Accident specialist 'lied to court'

2012-08-22 14:08

Johannesburg - An accident specialist testifying in the culpable homicide trial resulting from the death of former president Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter on Wednesday had lied about a tyre course he attended, the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court heard.

"From what I have [been told]... you have been less than honest with this court in your evidence," Kenny Oldwadge, acting for Sizwe Mankazana, told the court.

"This which you stated [in your curriculum vitae] to be a course that you covered is untrue."

Witness Craig Proctor-Parker said he did not consider himself to be an expert on tyre failure, despite testifying on Monday that he had determined that a flat or burst tyre did not happen in the accident that killed Zenani Mandela.

Mankazana, 25, faces a charge of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

He was a friend of the Mandela family and was taking Zenani home from a World Cup concert on 11 June 2010.

He was driving his father's Mercedes-Benz on that night and was heading to Sandton when it crashed into a barrier.

Zenani, who was in the back seat, was killed. Mankazana and another passenger were slightly injured but neither went to hospital.

A tour not a course

The vehicle had hit a steel barrier, which penetrated the car.

On Wednesday, the court heard that Proctor-Parker had, in his CV, said he attended some courses relating to cars and tyres.

Among them was a course done at Apollo Tyres in Durban.

Oldwadge said he had contacted the factory and found out this was not a course but a tour.

The company sent Oldwadge a letter which he read out in court.

It said factory tours were frequently conducted and Proctor-Parker had been part of a tour group in February this year.

The tour, which lasted two hours, dealt with an overview of the tyre manufacturing industry.

"No training is initiated in the tour... no training material was supplied to the group," the letter said.

Apollo said it did not manufacture run flat tyres, which is the type of tyre the Mercedes had.

"At no stage did I report to be an expert in tyre failure," said Proctor-Parker.

"I don't consider myself an expert in tyres."

  • clivelang1 - 2012-08-22 14:28

    Whats new....people will say anything if the price is right....

  • Desilusionada - 2012-08-22 15:09

    How much cr@p must the poor judge listen to? "run flat tyres, which is the type of tyre the Mercedes had" Who needs to be an expert witness to see if a tyre is flat or burst. Run flat tyres are made to be run flat. If they were not flat, than he is probably guilty. If they were all flat, then he should have noticed and he is probably guilty. Why would all 4 be flat anyhow, except if he did not check them prior to starting the journey, in which case he is probably guilty. if one went flat or even two, he should have felt it while driving. It is a responsibility that a person shoulders when getting behind the wheel. Not some testosterone kick........ PS. As for the K53 joke, teaching people to drive at 60km/h and then sending them out on the open road at twice that speed, well enough said.

  • dhavandran.palavar - 2012-08-22 15:29

    recklessness is the cause.

  • Konstabel - 2012-08-22 16:11

    Defence is really clutching at straws, trying to find anything to discredit the witness. Even if the tire had bust he would not have had a major crash if he was driving at 80km/h in a Mercedes Benz ... different story at 162km/h.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-08-22 16:23

    So much time and money wasted. Who else can be held responsible for what happened, but the driver? Perhaps the court should just put the blame on apartheid and get it over with.

  • sifiso.msimango - 2012-08-22 17:34

    strange!!whites lie too, i thought they were all angels, as they claim to be.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-22 18:14

      And blacks cannot be racists, as they all tell us in these posts.....

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