JOHANNESBURG, June 18 – The father of the Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere who was killed in a car crash three years ago told the court that he wished he had died rather than his son.
During proceedings at the Randburg Magistrate Court on Monday, Joseph, the father of Mhere, said he had big dreams for his children and a day never passed without him thinking about Simba.
“I often ask myself why God didn’t take me instead of him.”
Mhere and his friend Kady-Shay O’Bryan were killed in a car crash involving three cars, which happened on William Nicol Drive in Fourways, Johannesburg on January 31, 2015. Preshalin Naidoo, 27, was found guilty of two counts of culpable homicide in January.
“I’ll have to die to see him again,” Mhere said.
Naidoo sat in the dock with his head down while the impact statements were being read into record.
O’Bryan’s mother Meghan said in a victim impact statement, which was read to the court by State prosecutor Dinesh Nandkissor: “You took a mother from her daughter and all those who loved her.
“Her brother who’ll never again see his sister and enjoy their close bond. My late daughter will never again be an aunt because of you. My life is shattered and a part of my soul is dead.
“You have refused to take responsibility for what you have done, you may be a man with age but not a true man. You’re a coward.”
Later, Nandkissor read the impact statement from the Mhere’s sister Valerie, an amateur athlete, where she said her brother was good at everything he did and always showed up for her.
“He cancelled work to see me compete. Every pair of running shoes were paid for by my brother. He provided for me.”
“I don’t know how to express the loss I feel. My heart is broken. It hurts to watch videos to hear him laugh again.”
“He’ll never be at another race of mine or be at my wedding. I am an only child now.”
The defence in the trial against Preshalin Naidoo, who killed Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere in a car crash, said incarceration would be harsh punishment for his offence.
“If he is incarcerated he will become a burden to the state and a statistic. A term of incarceration will be ineffective and destroy Naidoo,” defence advocate François Roets told the Randburg Magistrate Court on Monday.
Mhere and his friend Kady-Shay O’Bryan were killed in an accident involving three cars, which happened on William Nicol Drive in Fourways, Johannesburg on January 31, 2015. The court heard that before the accident Naidoo, 27, was driving at more than 200 kilometres per hour.
He was found guilty of two counts of culpable homicide in January.
Roets said the case was a tragedy as Mhere and O’Bryan were loved and their deaths had huge impacts on their friends and families.
“There’s nothing I can submit that can bring them back to life however I submit that the court must consider a balanced sentence.”
Roets said the court had to ensure that justice was done and not to seek revenge.
He pleaded that correctional supervision was not a slap in the wrist but a severe sentence opposed on Naidoo.
“One thing is clear and that is that Mr Naidoo poses no threat or danger to the members of the public.”
“Why remove someone who is economically impactful from society.”
Roets said if Naidoo was sentenced to correctional supervision he would be able to serve the community through community service.
Roets listed a number of things that he said showed that Naidoo had also suffered for his actions, which included having to repair the damaged vehicles, media attention, hateful statements and not being able to apologise to the families of the victims.
“What will the court achieve by sentencing the accused [Naidoo] to even six months imprisonment ? I submit that a term of imprisonment should not be imposed.”
Roets said the only suitable sentence was correctional supervision, suspended sentence of five years on condition that he pays R1500 per month for the next five years. (ANA)