/ 30 June 2009

Khumalo will deny being drunk, says lawyer

Former Bafana Bafana soccer player Doctor Khumalo will deny that he was drunk when he crashed his car, his lawyer told the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

”The accused will tell the court that he could not sit still inside the ambulance because the ambulance was moving,” said advocate Johan Pretorius, when cross-examining witness Sinah Motlatsi Shongwe.

Shongwe had told the court that Khumalo was drunk at the time of the accident because he smelled of alcohol and could not sit still in the ambulance that was taking them to the hospital. His behaviour was also generally aggressive on the accident scene.

According to Pretorius, the former soccer star will also tell the court that when he was asked to take the breathalyser test he had breathing problems, that was the reason he pushed the device out of his mouth.

Shongwe responded by saying Khumalo should have told the paramedics on the scene that he had breathing problems when he pushed the tester out of his mouth.

Pretorius said a doctor at the hospital did not want to leave Khumalo because he had heartbeat problems, breathing problems, chest and eye pains as he had been injured.

Shongwe said she could not respond to that question as she was not there.

Another witness, Makie Elizabeth Slater, told the court Khumalo smelt of alcohol on the scene and could not stand or walk on his own.

Khumalo is on trial after he crashed his BMW into the back of a taxi on the N1 highway just before the Pietermaritzburg off-ramp on May 4 2008, allegedly while drunk.

Three witnesses, including the driver of the taxi, have told the court that Khumalo was drunk at the time of the accident.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

The trial continues. — Sapa