This is an extract from an actual judgement that was recorded in the Goodwood (Cape Town) Court:
The following is an extract from the ﬁnal verdict, by His. Hon. Mr. Marais, a Magistrate in the Bellville Court, in Cape Town. In this matter we were called only to testify as general eye witnesses, but after the opposing team insisted on asking for expert opinion, and after the court approved that we may answer, we gave our opinion. This is part of the judgement, as it was read by the Magistrate, after the case was concluded:
“Now I have heard many, many, many a hundred, a thousand accidents in this court in the past ﬁfteen years. So, although I would never give myself out as an expert, I have heard how many accidents happened and why or the way that is described, makes absolutely a sense…
Now the evidence of Mr. Bezuidenhout, I must admit is probably the best I have heard in many years. I have heard how many experts testifying in this court, some good, some bad. I have heard seven people, so-called experts, come and testify as to the reconstruction of accidents afterwards. This one professor from Stellenbosch who made sort of a good impression on the Court, but not brilliant, but I must admit, this witness who testiﬁed today, is taking the cake by far. He clearly is head and shoulders above all other experts I have seen in court.
Although he did not testify as an expert today, the evidence that he gave is so clear and precise that the Court cannot ﬁnd any mistake whatsoever with that. While he gave his evidence, he did not want to venture into any assumptions or conclusions that he had drawn in cross-examination, he was pressed to make them and only after the Court said if that is the case, you can go ahead and make them, he made those conclusions and they, unfortunately make a hundred percent sense.
I cannot say any reason why the Court should not accept them. To come and say afterwards, but you cannot say that that is the glass that was lying there was from this accident or that you cannot say there was not other glass. He gave his explanation and his explanation is very clear that there was no other glass and it is very clear that that glass, he explained why it would have been there, why it would not have been in the front car, why it would not have been at another place. As I say, all the evidence regarding the possible point of impact, there is clearly no reason why the Court should not accept that, not even a hint of a suggestion that I cannot accept it.”
This is an extract from an actual judgement that was recorded in the High Court in Pretoria on 8 March 2016:
The following is an extract from the ﬁnal verdict, by His. Hon. AJ Olivier, an acting judge in the High Court, Gauteng Division, Pretoria. In this matter we were called to testify as Expert witnesses for the plaintiff. This is part of the judgement:
“I now turn to the evidence of Mr. Bezuidenhout, who used certain photographs as one of the bases of his report…
The expert witness performed well under sustained cross-examination. He conceded several points during cross-examination, including that the damage to the vehicle of the plaintiff could have been caused by something other than a collision with another vehicle. He was truthful. He carefully considered his answers. Considering the totality of his evidence, OI deem him to be a credible witness…
The expert should be independent, and uninfluenced by the party calling him as an expert witness in support of his or her case. In Shneider NO and Others vs Aspeling and Another 2010 (5) SA 203 (WCC) at 211-212, Davis J provided a summary of the duty and role of the expert:
In short, an expert comes to court to give the court the benefit of his or her expertise. Agreed, an expert is called by a particular party presumably because the conclusion of the expert, using his or her expertise, is in favor of the line of argument of the particular party. But that does not absolve the expert from providing the court with as objective and unbiased an opinion, based on his or her expertise, as is possible. An expert is not a hired gun who dispenses his or her expertise for the purposes of a particular case. An expert does not assume the role of advocate, nor give evidence which goes beyond the logic which is dictated by scientific knowledge which that expert claims to possess.
In my opinion the expert was sufficiently independent for me not to exclude his evidence. I accept his evidence and his conclusions.”
This is an extract from an actual judgement that was recorded in the High Court in Pretoria on 17 May 2017:
The following is an extract from the ﬁnal verdict, by His. Hon. Mr. M B Mahalelo, an acting judge in the High Court, Gauteng Division, Pretoria. In this matter we were called to testify as Expert witnesses for the plaintiff. This is part of the judgement:
“The defendant conceded that Mr. Bezuidenhout was an expert for the purpose for which he was called. Mr. Bezuidenhout testified in a straightforward and forthright manner. His expert opinion was in line with all the factual testimony given by both the plaintiff and the insured driver. He did not contradict himself nor were there any external contradictions in his testimony. Mr. Bezuidenhout was an exemplary witness on all accounts. On the other hand, the insured driver stated exactly the opposite as to how the collision occurred compared to the plaintiff. He was, however, not an impressive witness.”