Jogger deaths: accused drove ‘normally’

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Copy of PN E Court Dead Joggers1

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Sibusiso Lange in the Pretoria High Court, where he is accused of crashing into six joggers, five of whom died. Picture: Etienne Creux

Pretoria - A Midrand man charged with killing five joggers by running them over was “driving normally” earlier that day, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday.

This was the testimony of two security guards who worked at the security estate in Midrand where Sibusiso Langa, mechanical engineer, lived in October 2011.

Richard Motshega said he had been on duty at the Blue Valley country estate on October 22, 2011, and saw Langa entering the property at 4am that morning.

He knew Langa as they used to greet each other, and said he was driving normally that day. Motshega said he had seen drunk drivers entering the estate before and would have noticed if Langa was driving erratically.

He could not say if Langa was under the influence of alcohol because the engineer did not get out of his car.

A second guard at the estate, Rachel Ramalo, said she had opened the gate for Langa when he left around 4.30am and saw him driving normally. She conceded she was not close enough to smell his breath and had not seen him walking.

Ramalo said she was not a drinker herself and never visited clubs, but knew what a drunk person looked like as her husband was a drinker.

Langa has denied guilt on charges of murdering Reneilwe Lesenyeho, Gaolojwe Tlale, Moroesi Mokoatsi, Given Mills, and Nomvula Dumako, and attempting to murder Abegail Stengile, as well as drunk driving.

He denied being drunk, speeding, driving recklessly, and hitting the joggers while he was on the wrong side of the road.

Langa claimed the runners were in the middle of the road as he came around a blind corner. He said he had seen another car coming from the front just before the accident.

An eyewitness earlier testified that Langa had been on the wrong side of the road when he collided with the joggers and appeared to be under the influence.

Metro police officers who saw Langa at the scene described him as sleepy, uncertain on his feet and said his breath smelled strongly of alcohol.

Stengile, the only survivor, testified that she could not remember the accident and only realised she had been hit when she came to on the side of the road and found she was unable to stand up.

Pathologists testified that the severe injuries that caused the deaths of the five joggers were the result of high-speed impact.

Two accident reconstruction specialists testified that no mechanical failure had contributed to the accident and that Langa had been driving between 108 km/h and 113 km/h on the wrong side of the road in a 60 km/h zone.

Langa testified he could not remember at what speed he was driving, but found it unlikely that he would have driven so fast because he was not a fast driver.

The trial continues on Monday.

Sapa


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