Expert excludes speed as cause of accident in Simba Mhere trial

2017-10-30 21:26
Simba Mhere. (Supplied)

Simba Mhere. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – A specialist who testified in the Simba Mhere trial on Monday told the Randburg Magistrate's Court that the accident that led to Mhere's death was caused by mechanical problems and not speed.

The accident claimed the life of the 26-year-old Top Billing presenter and his friend, 29-year-old Kady-Shay O'Bryan when their car collided with Preshalin Naidoo's car on William Nicol Drive in Fourways, Johannesburg, in January 2015. Mhere's father survived the crash.

Naidoo, 24, faces two counts of culpable homicide and additional charges of reckless or negligent driving.

On Monday morning, IBF Investigations South Africa chief reconstruction expert Stanley Bezuidenhout, who compiled a report of the accident for the defence, took the stand.

In Naidoo's plea explanation, he stated that he lost control of his vehicle due to "unexpected mechanical defects".

"From the beginning, are you trying to say that there have been defects to the vehicle?" state prosecutor Dinesh Nandkissor asked Bezuidenhout.

"Correct," he replied.

Different estimate

Bezuidenhout testified that Naidoo's car was travelling at approximately 60km/h at the time of impact.

While Mhere's car was travelling at approximately 98km/h.

However, earlier in the trial, Car Track fleet manager Lorenz Stoger testified that Naidoo's car was travelling at approximately 166km/h when he off-ramped at William Nicol Drive and crashed into Mhere's car.

Bezuidenhout said they had a problem with the tracker report and that its estimate could have been off by 80%.

ALSO READ: Simba Mhere crash caused by human negligence - JMPD officer

Magistrate David Mahango asked if Bezuidenhout was excluding speed as one of the factors of the collision.

"The probability of the cause of the accident lies much more with the mechanical default than speed," Bezuidenhout said.

Nandkissor argued that information on IBF Investigations' website was misleading and incorrect.

'We never tailor our findings'

He then read an extract titled "Expert Testimony" from the website to the court.

"Yet we have never testified in a matter where we have been proven to be wrong, where our side has lost (civil or criminal) or where we were discredited as experts," it read.

"How do you know that? Are you aware of the outcome of every single case you dealt with?" Nandkissor asked.

READ: Simba Mhere crash driver 'fell asleep' - court told

Bezuidenhout said he was only aware of the cases he had been given feedback on.

Defence attorney Francois Roets asked Bezuidenhout if the company tailors its findings.

"No, we never tailor our findings," he replied.

Mahango postponed the matter to January 15, for both sides to prepare heads of arguments.  

Read more on:    simba mhere  |  johannesburg  |  accidents

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