Accused says he wasn't driving the car that killed Durban adventurer in 2016
The man accused of culpable homicide for the death of Durban adventurer and photographer Andy Carrie says he was not driving the car that ploughed into Carrie, who was riding his motorbike.
“It wasn’t me,” Velile Hlongwa told Durban Regional Court magistrate Prithi Bodha Khedun at the start of his trial on Monday.
In a statement read out by his advocate, Paul Jorgensen, Hlongwa named the driver as Michael Myeza, who apparently fled the scene of the accident on Essenwood Road in Berea, Durban, on December 3 2016.
Apart from the culpable homicide charge, Hlongwa, who is from Pinetown, is also facing a charge of reckless and negligent driving for “driving into oncoming traffic at excessive speed” and a charge of drunk driving, after getting with a blood-test score of 0.18g per 100ml.
But Jorgensen said the accuracy, authenticity and reliability of the blood analysis would be challenged.
“My client also specifically pleads a lack of objective investigation in this matter,” he added.
The first witness to give evidence was Berea-based constable Phangisani Nkosi, who said when he arrived at the accident scene he rescued Hlongwa from an angry mob.
“Members of the community were shouting and I could see them fighting. I pulled him [Hlongwa] away to protect him and put in the back of the van,” he said.
Nkosi said someone - although he couldn’t say who - had told him that he was protecting the driver of the car that had caused the accident. However, the magistrate ruled that this evidence was hearsay and therefore inadmissible.
Nkosi said Hlongwa told him in the back of the police van that he was not the driver. He told him that there had been two men in the car, but the community had “chased him”.
He said Hlongwa had not named the driver at the time.
He said because Hlongwa was the only one on the scene, he had read him his rights, breathalysed him and taken him to the district surgeon for blood-alcohol testing.
The next witness will be Durban attorney Michael Friedman, who was allegedly driving behind Carrie when a car crossed the barrier line and crashed into him. The car ended up on its side and Friedman then crashed into it.
Carrie’s death at the age of 29 resulted in the creation of the hashtag #LiveLikeAndy, a tribute to his adventurous spirit.
Andy’s father John Carrie was in court monitoring the trial.
The trial continues.