Culpable homicide-charged Omesh Ramnarain’s legal team have accused a police crash scene investigator of harbouring bias against their client.
A career policeman, who has attended more than 1 200 fatal collisions, the Accident Combating Unit’s Warrant Officer Bongani Gasa was tasked with collecting evidence from the site of the February 2016 horror smash that left cyclists Richard da Silva and Jared Dwyer dead.
Ramnarain was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and driving negligently that morning.
The State on Tuesday called Gasa to testify at the Durban Regional Court. But after he had given his evidence, proceedings had to be adjourned for him to go through the photographs he took that morning.
He was yesterday shown a photograph of the internal passenger side of Ramnarain’s smashed-up GTI and, specifically, the floor well.
Ramnarain’s advocate, Murray Pitman, said that in the photograph what appeared to be a “stone or rock” could be seen.
But, said Gasa, he could not remember seeing it.
“Do you know where it came from?” Pitman asked him.
Gasa said no while conceding that Ramnarain’s windscreen was shattered, and that there was a hole in it.
“Did you ever think the stone or rock came through the windscreen?” Pitman asked him.
He replied no.
Gasa was also adamant he saw and spoke to Ramnarain that morning, and said he appeared to be intoxicated.
But Pitman said his client did not remember seeing the policeman.
“Are you sure you saw him?” he asked.
Gasa replied he was.
“I put it to you that your version of events is based on what you heard from other people and not what you saw,” Pitman said.
“I would deny that,” Gasa replied.
“You have manufactured that version of events because you’re biased against the accused,” said Pitman.
The trial was yesterday adjourned for Gasa to secure photographs of debris left on the road after the accident.
It is set to continue today.