Court finds that driver who crashed into Simba Mhere fabricated evidence

2018-01-31 15:03
Simba Mhere. (Supplied)

Simba Mhere. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – Magistrate David Mahango poked holes in the defence of convicted criminal Preshalin Naidoo who was found guilty of culpable homicide in the death of Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere in a car crash. 

Naidoo was found guilty on two counts of culpable homicide as well as negligent and reckless driving. 

In his judgment on Wednesday at the Randburg Magistrate's Court, Mahango rejected Naidoo's entire defence. 

READ: Driver found guilty of culpable homicide in accident which killed Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere and his friend

"The court finds that the version of the accused that he suffered mechanical failure is far-fetched. There is no hesitation in concluding that the accused has fabricated his defence." 

During Mahango's ruling Naidoo kept his head down, making little eye contact with the magistrate. His mother, who was seated on the front bench, was emotional, often shedding tears and closing her eyes.

Mhere's sister, Valerie, often wiped her eyes as Mahango described how her brother had died. The presenter's mother, Angela, sat silently next to his father, Joseph, and kept her eyes closed during judgment. 

The family of three were surrounded by Naidoo's family and friends, whose numbers dominated the courtroom.

37 incidents of exceeding speed limit

Some family members tried to block photographers from taking photographs of Naidoo before court was in session. 

During his ruling Mahango dismissed Naidoo's version of events that he was travelling at 61km/h at the time of the collision. 

Naidoo's car tracker had recorded 37 incidents of exceeding the required speed limit. Minutes before the accident, Naidoo had been travelling at 210km/h.

However, Naidoo's defence argued that he was travelling at 61km during the time of impact. He also blamed mechanical failure for the accident. 

"If the accused was driving at 61km, he was going to able to apply brakes as IBF Investigations South Africa chief reconstruction expert Stanley Bezuidenhout argued," he said. 

However, Mahango said Bezuidenhout's testimony as an expert witness for the defence was not credible. 

State's case proven 'beyond doubt'

He questioned his motives for attending court while State witnesses were on the stand, adding that this gave Bezuidenhout an advantage. 

He said that Bezuidenhout's inspection of Naidoo's car months after the accident "demonstrated bias on the part of his evidence".

"There was no evidence that suggests the vehicle was not tempered with before inspection," Mahango said. 

He found that the state had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. State witnesses were also found to have delivered credible testimony. 

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said that the State was happy that the court was in agreement that Naidoo had acted negligently and without consideration of other road users.

Naidoo's bail has been approved until March 9 for sentencing.

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Read more on:    simba mhere  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  crashes  |  accidents

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