Thomas told the court he was at home playing video games with his friend, Lance Govender, that evening when they heard dogs barking. When they went outside they saw smoke in the distance and went to look.
At first he thought the veld was burning and asked his mother to call the fire service, then he realised a car was on fire.
Thomas said as he approached the car he saw a white SUV coming towards him and greeted the driver, whose window was open. But the man drove off, appearing aggressive and angry.
"I thought he was there before us," said Thomas. "I went to the guy, I thought he would tell me what is going on. As he drove past me, he looked at me (and) I looked at him. Lance said, 'that's weird'."
Thomas went on to describe the man. "That person in the car had a round face. I think he was light in complexion, a mix between white and coloured."
Asked if the man was in court, Thomas pointed to Packham. "He has got glasses on now, he didn’t have glasses then," he said.
Packham’s counsel, Craig Webster, took issue with the fact that Thomas identified Packham as the suspect when the accused was 57 at the time of the identity parade and the witness was shown pictures only of middle-aged white men.
By the time Thomas was called to the identity parade, Packham’s image had been widely published, said Webster.