Lawyer questions Uber taxi driver’s version of fatal assault

2017-03-06 19:07
Carl Schoombie (Supplied)

Carl Schoombie (Supplied)

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Cape Town – The lawyer for one of the men accused of killing Stellenbosch University graduate Carl Schoombie on Monday tried to cast doubt on the testimony of the Uber taxi driver who saw the attack.

William Booth, for Juane Jacobs, continued to question driver Jean-Piere Muroncwa on what he saw, given his memory, the darkness and the rain that Saturday night in November 2015.

He asked why Muroncwa had mentioned certain details in his testimony, but not in his statements to police.

Schoombie and three friends were on their way home from a Claremont nightclub when he was assaulted in a cul-de-sac after getting out of Muroncwa’s taxi. He was admitted to hospital in a coma, where he died a few days later.

The State alleges that Jacobs and Brent Henry attacked him after accusing him of starting trouble at the Tiger Tiger nightclub.

Muroncwa said through his interpreter on Monday that he saw Schoombie in three positions between his car and the men’s car in Avoca Road.

At first he saw him standing, then on the bonnet of the car and lastly, lying on the ground with his face up.

“I saw when Carl fell on the bonnet, number two [Jacobs] grabbed his shirt and accused one [Henry] beat him.”

Booth rejected much of Muroncwa’s version. He said Jacobs recalled getting out of his black Audi with Henry after Schoombie and a friend got out of the Uber. They met in the middle of the two cars.

“Accused two [Jacobs] will say that he hit him once with his open hand and kicked him once in the chest. He will say he never grabbed Carl by the shirt,” the lawyer said.

Muroncwa said he saw what he saw. He stuck by his version that Jacobs punched him (Muroncwa) twice on the left side of his head.

Booth asked if he spoke to Jacobs before he was punched.

“I didn’t know what he was trying to say. When I looked at his face, he was so very angry," he replied.

Muroncwa said he retreated towards the back of the car, but did not turn or run away. He didn’t tell anyone at the scene, including police, that he had been hit because the focus was on Schoombie.

“That moment I was not feeling well. I didn’t have the courage to tell them what happened.”

When he later gave statements to police “in broken English”, he said he described Jacobs, the one who hit him, as tall, and Henry as short.

While he spoke some English with his clients, he did not understand all the questions police asked him and never had his statements read out.

He was excused from the stand.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    carl schoombie  |  cape town  |  crime

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