President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane was negligent in an accident in which a woman was killed, an inquest into the accident found on Thursday.
“This court finds that the death of the deceased Phumzile Dube was prima facie brought about by the negligent actions of suspect two, Mr Zuma,” Randburg Magistrate’s Court Magistrate Lolita Chetty said.
“He failed to conduct himself in a reasonable manner under the circumstances.”
After Chetty read the findings and the inquest concluded, Zuma shook the hands of prosecutor Yusuf Baba, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Nathi Mncube, and the other lawyers. Zuma, dressed in a black suit, greeted journalists as he left the courtroom, and said he would not comment.
Inquest rejects defence
Chetty went through the evidence that had been presented and said Zuma’s defence was rejected by the inquest.
Zuma chose to drive at a normal speed while it was raining, which exposed him and the vehicle to dangerous consequences. On February 1 this year, Duduzane Zuma’s car rear-ended Jabulani Vusi Dlamini’s minibus taxi on the M1 South off-ramp to Grayston Drive in Sandton. Dube was killed and three others were injured.
During the inquest, Zuma said he lost control of his Porsche after it hit a puddle in rainy conditions.
Speculation on prosecution
In July, the NPA said it declined to prosecute Zuma due to insufficient evidence.
Last month, the state and defence presented closing arguments and Chetty took two weeks do examine the documentation handed in by the legal teams. After proceedings on Thursday, Mncube said the finding did not mean Zuma had been found guilty of anything.
“We will get the transcripts of the record and then the NPA is going to consider whether it is going to institute prosecution,” he said. “There was a lot of evidence that came up that the NPA would have to study. It is not a given that prosecution will ensue henceforth.”
Mncube said he could not speculate on the NPA charging Zuma with culpable homicide. The prosecuting authority would study the findings before making a decision. – Sapa