Student’s family in tears as drunk-driving charge dropped
The family of a Nelson Mandela University student killed in an alleged drunk-driving accident wept bitterly on Monday when they heard the blood test kit used on the accused had expired the month before the tragic crash.
The news was delivered after the devastated family of Jamie Baartzes‚ 19‚ had listened to an anguished witness speaking to the 10111 call centre minutes after the fatal accident on the M4 freeway near the Russell Road turnoff in March 2016.
The call by state witness Izak Nell had many in tears‚ with one family member walking out of the courtroom weeping as Nell described seeing an accident where one vehicle was travelling on the wrong side of the freeway.
But the case against Amos Sinyanya‚ 30‚ was dealt a severe blow when – shortly after the state closed its case – his attorney‚ Zolile Ngqeza‚ asked that the drunk-driving charge be withdrawn on the basis that the blood test kit had already expired when it was used to test his client.
State witness Sabelo Ncwane‚ an analyst from the SAPS forensic lab in Durban‚ told the court when he tested Sinyanya’s blood sample it showed he was nearly three times over the legal limit.
Sinyanya still faces charges of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.
The matter was postponed to May 8.