MAGESH MAY WALK FREE
GABORONE - Tokollo "Magesh" Tshabalala may walk out a court in Gaborone, Botswana, a free man.
That is if defence counsel Collin Garvey manages to persuade the magistrate, Lot Moroka, to declare the matter a "no case".
The kwaito star and former TKZee member is on trial on two charges of causing death by dangerous driving, the equivalent of culpable homicide in South Africa.
Yesterday the evidence of the fourth state witness, Bissau Gaobakwe, contradicted that of Kebonye Tsiaka, who fainted in court on the first day of the trial on Wednesday.
Tsiaka had testified that on the day of the accident on March 17 2001, he did not see the BMW allegedly driven by Tshabalala at the intersection of the main road where the accident occurred.
He told the court that he had looked in both directions before entering the intersection, but after 15 metres on the road his car shook "as if moved by the wind".
That was when he saw a speeding BMW trying to overtake him.
But yesterday Gaobakwe told the court that Tshabalala had tried hard to avoid an accident when a minibus also entered the intersection.
Gaobakwe denied he had been driving. He did not see anyone drinking on the evening before the accident, though they had spent the night at a nightclub.
In his summation, Garvey said evidence did not show that Tshabalala was driving the BMW 330Ci that was involved in the accident.
Maria Josephine Monyatsi, who was driving the other car involved in the accident, and Ntshabele Tumelo Monaisa, apparently a passenger in the car allegedly driven by Tshabalala, died at the accident scene. .
Garvey said Gaobakwe was implicating Tshabalala because at the time of the accident, he (Gaobakwe) was on bail for an attempted murder case in which he had allegedly shot a friend.
Garvey said the police report also did not mention the minibus that was involved in the accident.
He said the statements of Gaobakwe and Tshabalala corroborated each other except that both claimed they were not driving.
He then requested the magistrate to consider the matter a "no case" because of the discrepancies.
But prosecutor Matlhogonolo Phuthego said there was enough evidence that proved Tshabalala had been driving and was therefore responsible for the deaths of Monyatsi and Monaisa.
He said all the witnesses had identified him as the driver of the car.
The trial continues.