Johanensburg - On June 30, 2009, soccer star Bryce Moon did not get into his car and drive on Katherine Street, Sandton, with the intention of killing Zimbabwean domestic worker Mavis Ncube.
The State, however, charged him with murder, implying he had the intention to kill Ncube. It needed to prove that Moon knew Ncube and that he knew that she would be walking on Katherine Street at that particular time, that he reached her and fulfilled his intention.
This was the argument of Naren Sangham, Moon’s advocate, at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, where Pietermaritzburg-born Moon is standing trial for murder, alternatively attempted murder, drunken driving and reckless or negligent driving.
Ncube was with her cousin Thandi Sibanda when Moon’s Mercedes-Benz hit her. She died at the scene.
Sangham’s argument was that for the State to charge his client with murder, it had to mean that Moon foresaw that murder would occur.
He also said the State had unfairly applied the case of Cape Town driver Jacob Humphries in his client’s case, saying Humphries had consciously driven into an oncoming train and that there was sufficient evidence that he knew that if he drove in the manner that he did, death would occur.
With a minibus full of schoolchildren, Humphries had driven past cars that had stopped for the incoming train at a level crossing. The train smashed into his vehicle, killing 14 children. He was convicted on murder charges.
“The same analogy can’t be used to describe my client. He only became aware of (Ncube) when he negotiated the bend.
“The accused must be acquitted on the crime of murder,” Sangham said.
He said his client also had to be acquitted on the culpable homicide charge because the State needed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Moon had been negligent and that negligence had caused Ncube’s death.
He also tore into the evidence of Sibanda, the only person who allegedly witnessed the accident. He said Sibanda had failed to tell the court exact details of what had happened.
At some point there had to be a trial-within-a-trial because she had denied making a statement to the police.
It was later determined that she had indeed made the statement.
“The aspect of her evidence is crucial in your ruling because, in essence, by ruling against her, you ruled against her credibility.
Cross-examination indicated that she was an unreliable and a lying witness. The court needs to execute more than the caution normally required by courts when looking at her evidence,” Sangham said.
Judgment is expected in March.