/ 29 March 2024

Zuma escapes harm, MK Party coy on car crash details

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The former president and his personnel are unscathed after an accident on Thursday. (Photo by Mlungisi Louw/Volksblad/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Former President Jacob Zuma found himself in the spotlight once again as reports emerged of his involvement in a car accident on Thursday night. 

Umkhonto we Sizwe Party’s leader and his bodyguards have reportedly suffered no injuries while the exact location of the incident remains unknown.

MK spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndlela confirmed to the Mail & Guardian that there was an incident but offered little clarity, stating, “I can say yes, there was an accident. The details, therefore, are sketchy, I cannot get into detail regarding that for now”.

As speculation swirls around the circumstances of the accident, Ndlela emphasised the need to maintain security protocols, hinting at potential sensitivities surrounding the incident.

Meanwhile, the party’s election head Musa Mkhize cried foul, claiming Zuma was deliberately targeted.

“What happened last night I must say that unfortunately, we have been waiting for it to happen and it has happened because the president was warned that he will be lying in hospital, we don’t know what more is still coming,” he told the SABC.

The lack of concrete information about the accident has been muddled further by conflicting reports from the KwaZulu-Natal South African Police Service. 

KZN SAPS spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda told the M&G that reports had reached him about the accident but he had no further details. Efforts to contact SAPS’s national spokesperson were unsuccessful.

This incident arrives amid recent remarks by the secretary of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Bheki Mtolo, who suggested that Zuma’s age might hinder his participation in the upcoming general elections. Mtolo asserted that Zuma might be hospitalised due to his advanced age, casting doubt on his ability to engage in the political arena actively.

On Thursday, the Electoral Commission of South Africa sustained a separate objection against Zuma running as a candidate in the May 29 national election due to his criminal record. Unless the decision is successfully appealed, the 81-year-old will be barred from contesting a seat in parliament.