Johannesburg - Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, was not driving negligently when his car crashed into a taxi in February 2014, but a water puddle caused him to lose control of his Porsche, his lawyer Mike Hellens told the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Hellens said Zuma was driving cautiously because of the rain.
Meanwhile, the driver of the taxi Zuma's car hit, Vusi Dlamini, said even though it was raining heavily, he could clearly see the road.
The State’s first witness Mthombisi Khumalo, who is employed at the South African Weather Service, was unable to say how much rain fell or how heavy it rained on the night of the crash.
Dlamini said before the accident, he saw storm drains and there was a lot of water flowing into them. But added that the water was not flowing towards his direction in the second lane where he was driving.
He said where the accident occurred there was water on the road.
Zuma was initially charged with two counts of culpable homicide after a 2014 car accident that resulted in the deaths of Phumzile Dube and Nanki Jeanette Mashaba.
Dube died after Zuma’s Porsche crashed into a minibus taxi on the M1 in Johannesburg. Mashaba died in hospital. However, the court withdrew one of the charges after it was found that Mashaba had another pre-existing medical condition.
Remembering the crash, Dlamini said that he could not see Zuma's car.
"I didn't see the car spinning, all I could see were the lights," said Dlamini.
He said all of a sudden his taxi was hit and he lost consciousness. Dlamini said after the crash, he was a bit confused and he only realised the damage when he got out of the taxi.
"Three people were left injured and one died," said Dlamini.
Dlamini said he saw the deceased hanging out of the window when he got out of his vehicle.
"She was hanging out of the window, but I don't know what exactly could have happened," said Dlamini.
Zuma has pleaded not guilty to the culpable homicide charge and negligent driving.
African News Agency (ANA)