Details of an accident involving President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, in which a woman was killed, have been disputed during an inquest in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court.
Sabelo Nobangule, for minibus taxi driver Jabulani Dlamini, today told Warrant Officer Jimmy Ngubeni that his client said the officer “misunderstood” him while taking his statement.
Zuma’s Porsche rear-ended Dlamini’s minibus in the rain on the M1 south off-ramp to Grayston Drive, Sandton, in February, killing passenger Phumzile Dube and injuring three others.
Nobangule said Ngubeni incorrectly wrote down which lanes the two vehicles were in. The officer denied making a mistake and said Dlamini signed the statement after it was read back to him.
Ngubeni took statements from both Zuma and Dlamini following the accident.
The inquest heard that Dube died from extensive blunt force trauma.
Ngubeni read out Zuma’s statement during the inquest.
“The visibility was bad, then my vehicle lost control. I felt it hitting something but at that stage I didn’t see what it was,” he read.
Zuma said after he hit a puddle he lost control of his car and hit the back of the taxi. The Porsche spun and came to a stop facing oncoming traffic.
He called a friend and asked them to call emergency services after he realised people in the taxi had been injured. He did not go to a doctor despite sustaining injuries to his left ribs.
According to Dlamini’s statement Zuma’s silver Porsche went from the far right lane to the far left lane and collided with his taxi.
“It [the taxi] spun twice, hit the barrier, fell on the ground, and then stood on its wheels,” read Ngubeni.
Zuma sat in the second row of the courtroom’s public gallery.
A passenger in the taxi, Matron Mdakane, 68, testified that Zuma was speeding. She said Zuma left the scene to fetch a security guard and was to blame for the accident.
Speaking through an interpreter she said she saw the Porsche go out of control and spin twice before it hit the taxi. The taxi then hit a barrier before coming to a standstill.
Zuma’s lawyer, Gary Mazaham, said Zuma would deny that he ran away and then came back with a security guard.
Mazaham argued that experts would say it was highly improbable that the Porsche spun twice before hitting the minibus.
The inquest will continue tomorrow when expert witnesses are expected to testify.
In July, the National Prosecuting Authority said it declined to prosecute Zuma due to insufficient evidence. NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube said at the time the matter would be referred to a magistrate for a formal inquest to determine whether the accident was caused by a human error.