Speed to blame for Zenani's death - expert

2012-08-20 19:12

Johannesburg - Excessive speed led to the death of former president Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter in a car accident, the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.

Accident specialist Craig Proctor-Parker said the car, which was driven by Sizwe Mankazana, was travelling at an estimated speed of 162km/h on 11 June 2010 when it crashed on a bend on the M1 freeway.

The speed limit on that portion of the freeway is 80km/h.

The court heard that skid marks were usually measured with instruments to calculate the speed of a car.

Proctor-Parker confirmed he had not used any instruments to make his calculation, but that he had used his "naked eye".

"No, because it does not make a difference," Proctor-Parker said in response to questions by defence advocate Kenny Oldwadge.

He said it was clear what had happened.

The court heard that the car was in a good condition and roadworthy.

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

Mankazana was a friend of the Mandela family and had been taking Zenani Mandela, 13, 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.

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

Proctor-Parker testified that all the brakes were working on the car, and that road conditions were good. The road was well-lit, there were no potholes and the car had been serviced in 2009.

It was determined that all three occupants were wearing seatbelts, said Proctor-Parker.

He said no environmental factors had contributed to the accident.

Proctor-Parker gave a detailed account of the damage to the car, tyres, road and barrier. Pictures of the scene and car was handed in as evidence.

Suggestions that a flat tyre may have caused the accident was dismissed by Proctor-Parker, who said there was no evidence of a flat tyre.

Zenani's grandmother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and other family members were sitting in the public gallery observing.

The accused, wearing a suit, was seen jotting down notes as the witness testified.

The cross-examination of Proctor-Parker from the Road Traffic Management Corporation will continue on Wednesday.

  • carl.lutzer.3 - 2012-08-20 19:27

    Braking from 80 km a hour and 160 km an hour a gr 5 kid will see the diffs.....

  • grant.hide - 2012-08-20 19:47

    Whats up with barriers penetrating cars?

  • rocky.bell.5 - 2012-08-20 19:54

    In the South African context, being important means that you have Carte Blanche on just how deep you can push down on the accelerator, how fast you can race down the street WITHOUT taking into consideration the safety of others. Being important means that you do not have to keep to speed limits. You yourself determine the speed limit. The result of this importance: DEATH, DISABLED Mandela, JubJub, Ferreira and 1000 others. What would have been the outcome if this idiot kept to the speed limit?? No deaths and a grand child still alive - whether your surname is Mandela's or Van der Merwe, Peterson, or Naidoo. Keep dummies away from steering wheels!!

      wesleywt - 2012-08-20 20:01

      If you say this on a low flyer article you get attacked. Apparently overtaking while recklessly speeding is something News24 commentators say is okay. And you are stupid for suggesting otherwise.

  • wesleywt - 2012-08-20 19:56

    So where are the morons from this morning who attacked me for saying speeding is dangerous. They are never around for stories of the consequences of their stupid behavior.

  • sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-08-20 21:05

    He knows how fast he was traveling...... and must live with that if he has a conscience, but I doubt he has because would have pleaded guilt first day.

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