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Fri Jul 01 04:36:25 SAST 2016

Simba Mhere crash driver 'fell asleep' - court told

Mpho Raborife | 29 March, 2016 15:30
The late Simba Mhere.
Image by: SUPPLIED

The man who allegedly caused the accident which claimed the life of Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere and his friend has claimed he fell asleep behind the wheel, the Randburg Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday.

Mamokete Laka, who was in one of the three cars involved in the accident, told the court that Preshalin Naidoo apologised repeatedly.

"He kept saying I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Then he said he fell asleep," she said.

Naidoo is on trial on two counts of culpable homicide. 

Laka said, while her family was confronting Naidoo, he smelt like alcohol on the morning of the accident, on 31 January last year.

"He smelled like he had been drinking. I told my mother that 'o nwele (he's been drinking)'," Laka said.

Laka had been travelling with her mother and two brothers on William Nicol Drive in Johannesburg around 05:00 on the day. They were driving back to their home in Mabopane from a church service in Randburg.

She told the court she was asleep and was woken by her brother shouting, "What is this man doing?", before hearing two bangs. Naidoo hit a white car in front of him. The Lakas were driving behind Naidoo and his car landed on their bonnet.

After the collision, the family got out of the car. Laka said she saw a woman running towards Naidoo's car, which was lying on its side, and kicking the sunroof, so Naidoo could get out.

Once he emerged they asked him why he had lost control of his car.

"We kept asking him over and over again."

When asked whether she confronted Naidoo about her suspicions that he had been drinking, Laka said she did not.

She said she did not mention smelling alcohol to the police officers at the scene or staff at the hospital where she was taken later. She said she had intended to put it in her statement when police came to her home later that week.

Mhere, 26, and his friend Kady-Shay O'Bryan, 29, died in the collision. Mhere's father Joseph survived. O'Bryan had a three-year-old daughter.

Mhere rose to fame when he won a presenter search competition in 2010, landing him a job on the lifestyle television programme.

Source: News 24

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