Recording of Du Bois case ‘hardly audible’

2015-09-22 10:59
Lynette and Grant du Bois

Lynette and Grant du Bois

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ANOTHER hiccup has presented itself in the drawn-out trial of taxi driver Sibongiseni Khuzwayo, who is charged with culpable homicide arising from the death of Lynette du Bois in a 2007 traffic accident.

Khuzwayo was summonsed back to court earlier this month to resume trial, after a delay which had been caused when the magistrate decided to recuse himself shortly before the judgment was due.

The magistrate subsequently had a change of heart and was given leave to continue with the trial after approaching a judge to review his recusal.

Meanwhile, unable to privately fund his defence, Khuzwayo applied for, and was granted, legal aid.

His new attorney, Phindi Ntshangase, requested transcripts of the evidence to bring her up to date with all the proceedings before the trial continues.

However, yesterday, after she was handed certain transcripts, it emerged that the quality of the recording of the most recent part of the trial, comprising of legal arguments in the matter, is extremely poor and will require reconstruction.

Regional court magistrate Helgaard Fobian placed on record that Sneller Recordings, who typed the transcript, had attached a report to the transcript describing the quality as “absolutely shocking”.

“One would not have expected a recording like this after eight years of the system being in place and used!!” the official wrote. Both the prosecutor and the defence attorney (at that time Siyabonga Kunene) were “hardly audible” on the recording.

The report adds, “I cannot understand why the clerk would not rectify the problem. Shocking!!!”

Fobian said this was why the case had to be adjourned again yesterday.

He said he had taken up the matter with the clerk in control of the recordings, and “the court would like to see what the clerk is going to do about this”.

Khuzwayo’s trial has been fraught with difficulties, and the ongoing delays in finalising the matter, which caused the defence to question the fairness of the trial, have also frustrated the victim’s husband, Grant du Bois.

Du Bois has told The Witness on several­ ­occasions that he has lost all faith in the justice system as the trial dragged on and on and was delayed by a variety of factors, including the record disappearing at one point, and the death of a previous defence attorney involved in the matter. The case has now been postponed to October 9

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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