Durban - Truck driver Mohammed Sathar, who is charged with killing a man during an alleged road-rage incident, lost his bid to have the case quashed in the Durban Regional Court on Monday.
Sathar has pleaded not guilty to murdering Richard Duxbury in February 2012 near the Jacobs off-ramp on the M4.
On Monday, magistrate Stanley Luthuli refused an application for a discharge as he said Sathar had a case to answer.
Luthuli said: “The court is of the view that there is evidence on which a reasonable court could convict.”
He said the defence had not shown that the State’s evidence was of such a poor quality that it was “beyond belief”.
The defence’s version is that Sathar was driving on the highway when he saw two “big white men carrying what looked like sticks”.
He slowed down and they jumped on to the steps of his truck. One allegedly assaulted him through the window. He reached for his gun. A shot went off and he fled.
Last year, Duxbury’s father, Brian, testified for the State that he had been with his son on the day of the murder.
He said Sathar’s truck had forced their bakkie off the road and Richard had been shot after he had approached the truck.
Sathar’s advocate Ravi Reddy argued in the discharge application that the State’s case was “riddled with inconsistencies and innuendo”.
He also said the State had only used three out of the 18 witnesses who had deposed to affidavits.
“One has to question why these witnesses were not called and whether they would have harmed the State’s case.”
Reddy also questioned the impartiality of the investigation team as he said they had failed to preserve possible “DNA evidence” on a baseball bat that Sathar claimed was used by Duxbury to attack him.
State advocate Nadira Moosa said the application was “frivolous and based on speculation”.
“The facts of the case is that a shot was fired by Sathar and it struck the deceased (Duxbury) and he was killed.”
She said the witnesses were not called as they were not needed and to suggest otherwise was “misleading”.
She added that the evidence of the state witnesses who did testify was not of “poor quality” and questions of impartiality were unwarranted.
After the ruling, Reddy asked for the case to be adjourned because he needed to consult expert witnesses and the witnesses the State had not used.
Luthuli asked why this had not been done earlier. Reddy replied that expert evidence was “expensive” to obtain.
Reddy added that he had believed the discharge application would succeed.
Moosa opposed the adjournment as she said the defence had had ample time to prepare their case.
“The reasons given by the defence are wholly inadequate. The cost of the experts is not a reasonable explanation. The witnesses that the State offered to the defence have also not been interviewed.”
Luthuli granted an adjournment to Tuesday.