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3 minute read
9 Feb 2017
4:30 pm

Simba Mhere trial: Defence argues mechanical failure caused accident

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An expert witness showed an image that he told the court demonstrated that Naidoo’s vehicle was in an abnormal state when the accident occurred.

Motorist Preshalin Naidoo (second from R) outside Randburg Magistrates court in Johannesburg, 12 December 2016, . He was involved in a car accident with Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere and his friend Kady-Shay O’Brien i. Naidoo‚ 24, faces two charges of culpable homicide, relating to the car crash in which Mhere and his passenger O’Brien died. The crash which involved three cars happened in January 2015.Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The defence in the trial against Preshalin Naidoo in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court on Thursday argued that a mechanical failure caused the accident that claimed the lives of two people.

Naidoo, 24, is currently on trial for allegedly causing the fatal 2015 car accident that killed Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere and his friend Kady-Shay O’Bryan.

He faces two charges of culpable homicide. The crash involved three cars and happened on William Nicol Drive in Fourways, Johannesburg, on January 31, 2015.

Defence witness IBF Investigations South Africa Chief Reconstruction expert Stanley Bezuidenhout showed an image that he told the court demonstrated that Naidoo’s vehicle was in an abnormal state when the accident occurred.

“The steering components were examined and were clear, but there was a mechanical failure in the front right suspension,” he said.

Bezuidenhout displayed an image that showed that there was a nut missing on the vehicle, which could have caused a mechanical failure in the steering wheel.

The lower control arm was loose as well as the nut on the stabiliser bar.

The steering arm (tie rod end) nut that was completely missing. The steering components and front suspension were compromised. The rear suspension was clear of any faults.

He went on to show there were bolts that were loose and told the court that he could unscrew it with his hand when he examined the vehicle, which should not happen in a vehicle in good condition.

Bezuidenhout later showed pictures of the scene and said he did not believe the scene was contaminated.

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“The positions shown are those of the final resting positions of the vehicles.”

There were four impact marks shown to the court, which were tyre marks that were on the road, recorded by the Johannesburg metro police officer.

“The evidence was not properly addressed. We don’t know if we can link it to this,” Bezuidenhout said.

“Merely looking at marks and saying they are related to this accident is dangerous.”

Bezuidenhout pointed out a mark that he said indicated that the vehicle, and the wheel were not doing the same thing, which meant the wheel of Naidoo’s vehicle could have been detached.

“There’s so much evidence that wasn’t properly connected,” Bezuidenhout said while showing photographs of the accident scene, which he said were not explained.

Bezuidenhout went on to demonstrate how a skid mark was made by a vehicle and what it was.

During the trial the metro police officer testified about alleged skid marks that he identified while he was investigating the scene.

Bezuidenhout showed images he said wouldn’t have been there had it not been a mechanical failure of vehicle A, which was Naidoo’s vehicle.

“The car would have had to be moving at 79 – 85 km/h,” Bezuidenhout said.

But, earlier testimony by Car Track Fleet Manager Lorenz Stoger indicated that Naidoo’s vehicle was travelling at around 160 km/h when he off-ramped at William Nicol Drive in Fourways, where the accident occurred.

“If it was that fast at over 100km/h the super structure of the vehicle would be damaged,” Bezuidenhout said.

The case was postponed until March 6.

– African News Agency

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