Lawyer Mike Hellens told the Randburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday that his client 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.
Hellens said Zuma was driving cautiously because of the rain.
Meanwhile, the driver of the taxi Zuma’s car hit, Vusi Dlamini, said that 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 that before the accident, he saw storm drains and there was a lot of water flowing into them. But he added that the water was not flowing towards his direction in the second lane where he was driving.
He said that where the accident occurred there was water on the road.
Zuma was initially charged with two counts of culpable homicide after the accident resulted in the deaths of Phumzile Dube and Nanki Jeanette Mashaba.
Dube died after Zuma’s car crashed into a minibus taxi on the M1 in Joburg. Mashaba died in hospital. However, the court withdrew one of the charges after it was found that Mashaba had a pre-existing medical condition.
Remembering the crash, Dlamini said he couldn’t see Zuma’s car: “I didn’t see the car spinning, all I could see were the lights.”
All of a sudden his taxi was hit, and he lost consciousness. After the crash, he was a bit confused, and realised the extent of the damage only when he got out of the taxi.
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,” he said.
Zuma has pleaded not guilty to the culpable homicide charge and negligent driving. The trial continues. - African News Agency (ANA)