Variations in Shembe signatures questioned
THERE was only a one in 820 trillion chance of two people having the same handwriting, the Durban High Court was told.
This was the testimony of forensic document examiner Michael Irving under cross-examination.
He was being asked about variations in the signatures of the late Shembe Church leader Vimbeni Shembe.
The Shembe Church is embroiled in a leadership battle, which began last year after Shembe died.
Vimbeni's son Mduduzi and cousin Vela Shembe both want to succeed him.
Vela has argued that Vimbeni appointed him as a successor in a will. He took the matter to court after failing to convince church elders that he was the rightful successor.
Irving was instructed to authenticate Vimbeni's signature on his deed of nomination.
When Irving compared the standard signatures to the disputed signature he found 27 similar characteristics. He found three variations from the undisputed signatures.
Last week the court heard that Irving's findings would be disputed by Colonel Frik Landman, who found that the signature on the deed of nomination was forged. The case continues.