Prosecution grills Duduzane Zuma about conflicting accounts of speed he was driving at time of fatal accident

The speed at which Duduzane Zuma was driving at the time of his accident in 2014 was the main focus of the State's cross-examination on Thursday. 

The son of former president Jacob Zuma was on the stand for a second day in the Randburg Magistrate's Court. 

He faces a charge of culpable homicide related to an accident that occurred on February 1, 2014, when he crashed into a taxi, after his Porsche 911 Turbo lost control just after the Grayston Drive off-ramp in Sandton, killing Phumzile Dube.  

While State prosecutor Yusuf Baba questioned the speed, Zuma maintained that he had been driving at around 120km/h from William Nicol Drive, after leaving Fourways.

Dressed in a purple tie and a grey blazer, Zuma maintained that he had not exceeded 120km/h. 

Poor visibility

He told the court, sitting before Magistrate Tebogo Thupaatlase, that at the time of the accident he had been driving at 90-100km/h, because the rain had started to get heavier and visibility was obscured. 

During his cross-examination, Baba took Duduzane back to when he had an interview with the insurance assessor who dealt with his claim. He questioned why Zuma had informed the assessor that he was driving 70km/h, but was now giving a different version to the court. 

Baba also asked whether Zuma had informed the assessor about the people he was with on the day and whether he was driving from a restaurant.

Zuma replied that when the assessor had asked him about the speed, he had given an approximation.

He also told the court that he did not recall seeing the taxi before hitting a puddle, claiming that all he could remember was that his car had hit the water, spun and veered to the left. 

No recollection

Baba also questioned how often Zuma changed the tyres of his Porsche, and about the last time he had replaced them prior to the accident.

Duduzane could not recall when the tyres had last been replaced prior to the accident. 

Returning to testimony from a previous witness, who testified that Zuma had driven past the taxi and then spun, Baba questioned whether it was possible that by the time Zuma had hit the puddle, he had already passed the taxi. He maintained that he had no recollection of the moment. 

The trial continues and the State is expected to hear the testimony of two witnesses from the defence.

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