Duduzani Zuma culpable homicide case postponed

Duduzani Zuma’s case was postponed until August 23 and he was released with a warning to return after he appeared at the Randburg magistrate’s court on two counts of culpable homicide.

The charges relate to a car accident in February 2014 where Zuma lost control of his Porsche and rear-ended a taxi on the Grayston Drive off-ramp on the M1, north of Johannesburg’s city centre.

Phumzile Dube was killed instantly while three others were injured. She was a mother to a two-year-old daughter, Thembisile, at the time. The family received R5 000 from the taxi association but no compensation was paid from the Road Accident Fund.

A second woman, Jeanette Mashaba, died a few weeks later. However, during the inquest, it was found that her death was not a result of the accident and that she died in hospital of natural causes.

Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.

Outside the court, members of Black First Land First (BLF) protested in solidarity with Zuma. Some of them wore shackles around their legs and necks in reference to Zuma’s appearance at the Specialised Commercial Crime Court earlier this week on corruption charges. Some observers and legal practitioners were stunned that Zuma had been shackled at the time.

BLF has long been viewed as close supporters of former president Jacob Zuma. Speaking outside the court, BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana said that the case against Duduzani was a victimisation of black people.

“This has nothing to do with comrade Duduzani as the son of the [former] president,” Lwana said.

“Why is De Klerk not in jail?,” she said. “Why is Markus Jooste not in jail?”

Around her, a small crowd of protesters began chanting “arrest De Klerk” and “hands off Zuma”.

By that time, Zuma was long gone, accompanied by a cavalcade of presidential security bodyguards in separate black SUVs.

The families of the victims have long awaited justice for the deaths of their loved ones. The National Prosecuting Authority decided Zuma would be charged for the deaths after Afrikaner lobby group Afriforum applied pressure for charges to be reinstated.

Pedzisani Dube, Phumzile’s brother, has had to put his faith in the lobby group to attain justice for his sister’s death.

“The justice we want is for our mother and Phumzile’s daughter‚ Thembisile. Ever since that day Thembisile has been looking for her mother,” he told TimesLive.

“She is so young and does not understand why her mother can never come home. This [prosecution] will mean that one day we will be able to give her those answers. Every child needs their mother and we want the man who took our sister away to give us those answers and be held responsible.”

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.
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