Duduzane Zuma.
Duduzane Zuma was not speeding when he crashed his Porsche into a minibus taxi during a storm in Joburg in 2014.

This was according to a witness who testified at the former president's culpable homicide trial at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

“It was raining so hard. I saw a storm that I’ve never seen before,” a nervous-looking Michael Jankelowitz testified for the defence during the trial.

Jankelowitz testified that visibility was poor because it was raining heavily. He added that when he left Montecasino it had started raining, and it became heavier as he got onto the M1 highway.

Jankelowitz said he later heard about the accident on a popular radio station and called in because the radio presenter was “exaggerating” that the Porsche was racing.

“The car drove past my car. I saw it. He was not driving at an excessive speed.”

He said the road was very wet.

After five years, Jankelowitz added, he still remembered the tragic incident.

He said he had called Zuma’s lawyer and asked if he could come forward and assist with the case.

State prosecutor Yusuf Baba asked Jankelowitz why he had approached Zuma’s lawyers and not the State.

“I thought Zuma would not get a fair trial, and all I wanted to do was to give my facts of what happened. That is all,” Jankelowitz responded.

Earlier, accident reconstruction expert Konrad Lotter corroborated Zuma’s testimony. He told the court that Zuma was not speeding on the night of the fatal crash.

He pointed out that if he was travelling at a greater speed than the taxi, he wouldn’t have collided with it.

He added that Zuma and the mini bus taxi driver were driving at a far lower speed than the 120km/* limit on the M1 South, near Grayston Drive.

Lotter said Zuma had lost control of his car because of the volume of water on the road.

Elias Maangwale, an investigator for AfriForum, said he was surprised at Jankelowitz’s testimony because he had never approached the police or the National Prosecuting Authority to inform them that he was a witness in the case.

“We are happy that the matter is in court, even though the mother is still struggling with the pain of losing her daughter,” added Maangwale.

The public gallery was packed with Black First Land First party members, who were supporting Zuma.

The mother and brother of the crash victim, Phumzile Dube, were also present, supported by AfriForum.

Zuma has pleaded not guilty to the culpable homicide charge and negligent driving. The matter was postponed to June 20.

Zuma was initially charged with two counts of culpable homicide in relation to the accident, which resulted in the deaths of Dube and Nanki Jeanette Mashaba.

Dube died after the Porsche crashed into the minibus taxi.

Mashaba died later in hospital. However, the court withdrew one of the charges after it was found that Mashaba had a pre-existing medical condition.

In March, the court rejected Zuma’s application to have the culpable homicide case against him discharged. - African News Agency