Carl Pistorius’ (brother of murder accused Oscar Pistorius) culpable homicide case was heard in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate Court yesterday. The proceedings produced conflicting versions of events from the prosecution and the defence.
Kenny Oldwage, Pistorius’ lawyer told the court that the version of events explained earlier by the state’s witness, Anton Coetzee was not true and did not convey what really happended during the March 2008 collision which lead to the death of a woman.
Coetzee witnessed the collision of Maria Barnard’s motorbike with Carl Pistorius’ bakkie in River Road in Vanderbijlpark.
Oldwage questioned Coetzee:
Do you agree, that my client’s version of events are supported by the evidence?
Coetzee conceded saying:
If it is how he feels, then I’ll accept that.
Pistorius’ version of events were read out by Oldwage, and Pistorius said he would testify that while driving next to a Volkswagen Fox he heard a noise coming from the undercarriage of his car, and observed that to the right of his bakkie that a motorbike was airborne.
My client denies in the strongest terms that he drove his vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner.
According to Oldwage the driver of the Volkswagen Fox would testify that the driver of the motorbike, Barnard was driving at a high speed. Oldwage posed the question to Coetzee, if on a road in a semi-agricultural area overtaking a vehicle in the oncoming lane would be “reckless.” Coetzee conceded that it would not.
Coetzee said that because the driver of the motorbike’s helmet was still on, he was unable to smell alcohol on the driver’s breath at the accident scene. Coetzee continued, stating that Barnard had not consumed alcohol in his presence and that he could not determine the exact speed at which she was travelling.
The court heard that Coetze and Barnard were friends, with Coetzee posting a message of condolence on a website and referring to Barnard as “Beloved Marietjie.”
Coetzee recalled the events of the accident, saying that there was no way Barnard could have avoided driving into Pistorius who apparently “suddenly swerved.”
According to police reports and photographs of the accident scene, there were skidmarks from the motorbike that were 1,8 metres in length, indicating that Barnard had tried to brake.
The case has been postponed to 25 April 2013.
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