Appearing at the Randburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Duduzane Zuma took to the witness stand in his own defence and told the court that in his view there was no way he could have avoided the crash.
Zuma faces a charge of culpable homicide against one count of reckless and negligent driving related to an accident that occurred in February 2014, when he crashed into a taxi after he lost control of his Porsche 911 on the Grayston Drive off-ramp on the M1 north of Johannesburg.
During cross-examination by state prosecutor Yusuf Baba, Zuma told the court that on the day of the incident, there was heavy rain and visibility was poor.
“I was fortunate to walk away with my life. I take responsibility for what happened. I do sympathise with people who were affected,” Zuma said.
Zuma added that the incident was traumatic for everyone.
The incident resulted in the death of a taxi passenger, Phumzile Dube.
Zuma had previously been facing two charges of culpable homicide, however, the state decided to withdraw the second charge after it had been established that Nanki Jeanette Mashaba, who was also a passenger in the taxi that was hit by Zuma’s Porsche, had a pre-existing condition that led to her passing away in hospital a few weeks later.
In March Zuma applied to have the culpable homicide case against him discharged after his lawyers argued that there was no evidence presented to the court, showing that he had been driving negligently.
However, the court found that evidence presented against him was strong enough to hold up in court. Magistrate Tebogo Thupaatlase said there was sufficient evidence which may lead to a successful prosecution, and Zuma’s claim that there was no evidence against him was not true.
In a previous court appearance, where Black First Land First and Democratic Alliance members showed their support for Zuma, the former president’s son pleaded not guilty.
The case was postponed to Thursday due to technical challenges with the recording machine.