This was all that was left of Reshall Jimmy's Kuga after the deadly fire. File photo: Facebook
This was all that was left of Reshall Jimmy's Kuga after the deadly fire. File photo: Facebook

Outstanding witness statements halting progress in #FordKuga death inquest

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Feb 6, 2019

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Cape Town - The inquest into the death of Reshall Jimmy who died when his Ford Kuga caught alight, barely got started in the Western Cape High Court before it was postponed again.

The Jimmy family is represented by AfriForum’s Gerrie Nel and on Monday, February 4, the court heard that 10 witness statements were still outstanding four years after the incident.

Ford Motor Company’s advocate Andre Bezuidenhout castigated the police in the preliminary probe.

He told the court that the company had received the “lacking and not fully organised” docket in November.

Its investigator, a former police officer and investigations head of the disbanded Scorpions, found that numerous eyewitness accounts were outstanding and that the investigating officer had not followed up on “patently clear” aspects, as well as requests from the prosecutor for a follow up. Bezuidenhout said there were still 10 witness statements that were outstanding from witnesses who Ford had not “scratched out of nowhere”.

Among the claims from eyewitnesses were that gunshots and an explosion had been heard and that male occupants of a car sped away from the scene after Jimmy’s vehicle caught alight. It was also alleged that Jimmy had not arrived from Johannesburg in the holiday town that night, but that he had been at a Mossel Bay casino for 10 hours where he was involved in an altercation. Another bystander claimed to have seen Jimmy being shot.

Bezuidenhout further questioned why a healthy 32-year-old man would not have been able to get out of a burning vehicle. Instead, he was found seated on the driver’s side with his seat belt in place. The inquest is expected to commence on March 18 when formal evidence will be presented. 

Ford indicated that it had a list of 42 witnesses.

Nel said: “What frustrates me the most is that the family was not considered at all in this matter and we will support the family further in this matter.”


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Cape Argus

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