The Sunday News
Despite a court judgment that deemed that he was ultimately liable for the death of South Africa-based Zimbabwean television personality Simba Mhere, the man responsible for that fateful accident, Preshalin Naidoo has expressed no remorse for his part in the disaster that claimed one of the small screen’s brightest stars.
Three years after the accident that ended the lives of Mhere and Kady-Shay Obrien on 31 January in 2015, Naidoo was finally found guilty of two counts of culpable homicide to the relief of the families of both victims who had seen the case drag on through the years.
As sentencing proceedings began last week, it has been made clear that Naidoo is still having a hard time accepting that he was ultimately responsible for the accident that not only claimed those two lives but changed his as well.
Although court records show that those first on the scene alleged that Naidoo was drunk in the aftermath of the accident, it has emerged that he still did not feel he was responsible for the accident on William Nicol Drive in Fourways, Johannesburg.
This is according to a pre-sentencing report by private social worker Elza Cilliers.
According to the report compiled by Cilliers, “Naidoo still denies that he was negligent when the accident that claimed the lives of two people occurred.”
The social worker, however, pointed out that Naidoo accepts that he was the driver of the vehicle that caused the deaths.
Cilliers highlighted that Naidoo’s view shows that he is not 100 percent remorseful. The social worker said that even after being found guilty by the court, Naidoo still maintains that the deaths were not his fault.
In court where she was asked to justify her findings, Cilliers said during her investigation, she also spoke to families of the deceased.
According to the social worker’s report Mhere’s father, Joseph, recommended that Naidoo is sentenced to a short direct imprisonment.
Mhere’s mother’s mother, Angela, felt that no outcome would be satisfactory as no sentence would bring back her son. Angela said she was robbed of her son and future grandchildren, adding that his death was very painful.
The Mhere family has spoken about their increasing animosity for Naidoo, as the case was affected by continuous delays while the grapevine had it that Naidoo was about to strike a deal with South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority.
“We want closure. There’s a lot of speculation and no communication. After I heard that the driver was a young guy, I thought that I didn’t want him to go to jail. That he is young and made a mistake. But now, as time goes on and we hear talk of deals being struck without us being consulted, I do feel like there’s no justice,” said the late star’s sister, Valerie Mhere.
The social worker’s report indicated that Mhere’s mum also recommended that Naidoo provide some financial assistance to O’byran’s minor child while O’byran’s mother recommended that the sentence is one that will send out a strong message.
Cilliers said O’byran’s mother expressed disappointment and shock at how Naidoo never made an effort to apologise, explain or pass condolences on to the bereaved families.
In 2015 Simba’s family were told that the driver wanted to meet with them to apologise. As a family they had discussed it and eventually decided that they would welcome the apology. But that idea was quickly dismissed and they haven’t heard anything since with Naidoo claiming that the police had blocked him from giving an apology to the families of both victims.