Counsel for Duduzane Zuma‚ Mike Hellens SC‚ has argued that the state had not proved its case against his client‚ while the prosecution is arguing that Zuma’s driving was not adequately responsible on the day he crashed.
“One wonders why a reasonable prosecuting authority would think there is reasonable prospect of success in this case‚” Hellens argued in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Zuma faces a charge of culpable homicide for an accident that occurred five years ago‚ to which he has pleaded not guilty.
His father‚ former president Jacob Zuma‚ and his sister‚ Duduzile Zuma‚ were in court on Thursday when closing arguments in the case were heard.
Minibus taxi passenger Phumzile Dube died after Zuma’s car crashed into a minibus taxi on the M1 south near the Grayston turnoff in Johannesburg in 2014.
“The state has failed to disprove that Mr Zuma is guilty‚” Hellens argued.
He argued that there was no evidence that Zuma was travelling at an excessive speed when he overtook the minibus taxi.
Hellens contended that Zuma could not avoid aquaplaning (losing control of the vehicle because of water on the surface of the road).
“Aquaplaning happened unexpectedly. What could Mr Zuma have done to avoid aquaplaning that night? At what speed was he supposed to drive that night to avoid aquaplaning?”
— Hlubi (@Nomahlubij) June 20, 2019
“There was a puddle of water and a reasonable driver would not have foreseen it‚” Hellens said.
According to Hellens‚ when a car aquaplanes‚ anything can happen‚ including it spinning.
“No one knows what happened‚ but we know aquaplaning took place.”
Prosecutor Yusuf Baba argued that aquaplaning did not happen on its own and that there were factors affecting it such as “tyre pressure‚ the speed of the vehicle”.
Baba said it was up to the court to rule on whether Zuma had been driving negligently.
“The court has to determine the following: did Mr Zuma drive the car as a prudent driver‚ did he take precautions and did he reduce his speed?”
“He failed dismally‚” Baba argued.
The case was postponed to July 12 for judgment.
Source: TMG Digital