'He was speeding, your Honour' - commuter recalls day Duduzane Zuma crashed into taxi

2019-03-26 17:44
Duduzani Zuma in court. (Simon Sonnekus, Netwerk24)

Duduzani Zuma in court. (Simon Sonnekus, Netwerk24)

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Taxi commuter Noni Mdakane described the night that Duduzane Zuma's Porsche smashed into the taxi she had been travelling in, resulting in the death of Zimbabwean national, Phumzile Dube.

Mdakane was the State's fourth witness to testify on the first day of Zuma's trial in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

She was not intimidated by Zuma's advocate, Mike Hellens, SC, when he cross-examined her and refused to answer some questions she believed she had already answered.

Hellens asked Mdakane if she could tell the court, for certain, that Zuma's car was speeding.

"It was speeding, Your Honour. I say that because it overtook our taxi," Mdakane said.

AS IT HAPPENED: State withdraws one count of culpable homicide in Duduzane Zuma case

She added that she was certain that the driver of the taxi was driving "well," insinuating that if Zuma's car overtook their vehicle, he must have been speeding.

However, Hellens put it to her that Zuma's car had hit the side of the taxi from its front, meaning it could not have overtaken it.

The senior counsel also asked how the then 68-year-old Mdakane could have seen the side or back of the car to notice Zuma's speeding vehicle.

"Taxis are not Intercape buses and do not generally have curtains, so I could see what was happening," Mdakane responded.

She also submitted that she heard brake sounds before the crash, but Hellens was quick to take the 73-year-old to task.

"Why haven't you mentioned the sound of braking in your initial statement," asked Hellens.

Mdakane immediately conceded that she had not put that version in her affidavit and added that she was merely answering Hellen's question on what had happened that night.

Zuma initially faced two charges of culpable homicide and a count of negligent driving relating to a car crash on February 1, 2014, on the M1 highway in Gauteng.

However, at the start of the proceedings on Tuesday, prosecutor Yusuf Baba indicated that one culpable homicide charge would be withdrawn. 

Though Nanki Jeanette Mashaba, who was injured in the accident, died in hospital several weeks later, her death was owing to a pre-existing condition and was not because of the accident, Baba said.  

Before lunch, the State called three witnesses, including taxi driver, Vusi Dlamini, who said he was the one who drove the taxi on the day of the crash.

Dlamini conceded that Zuma may not have been able to prevent the accident as the road was flooded.

News24 understands that the State has two more witnesses who are to be called on Wednesday.

It will then be up to the defence to decide if Zuma testifies and gives his version of events.

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Read more on:    duduzane zuma  |  courts  |  crime

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