Jacob Zuma keeps a fatherly eye on Duduzane’s culpable homicide trial

24 January 2019 - 10:20 By Naledi Shange
Former President Jacob Zuma sits with his son, Duduzane Zuma, as Duduzane appears in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Former President Jacob Zuma sits with his son, Duduzane Zuma, as Duduzane appears in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Image: ALON SKUY

The culpable homicide case against Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, was quickly postponed in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Father and son sat alongside each other in court, appearing relaxed as they chuckled and joked, looking through Zuma senior’s phone.

Dressed in a grey suit, light-blue shirt and dark-blue tie, Duduzane then took his place at the front of the court, where his lawyer revealed that they had concluded all their preparations ahead of his culpable homicide trial, which has been set down for March 26.

The 34-year-old Zuma faces two charges of culpable homicide and a count of negligent driving. The charges are linked to an incident in February 2014, when his Porsche collided with a minibus taxi near Sandton, killing two taxi passengers. Phumzile Dube was killed, while fellow passenger Jeanette Mashaba died a few days later in hospital.

An inquest was held in 2015. A magistrate found that Zuma should stand trial for the incident, but the National Prosecuting Authority decided not to prosecute. The state reconsidered its decision after AfriForum and former prosecutor Gerrie Nel announced that they intended to pursue a private prosecution.

There is no guarantee that there will be rolling media coverage of the trial in March. Prosecutor Yusuf Baba told the court that an order allowing media coverage of the case had expired on January 24, when the pre-trial proceedings concluded.

A fresh application needed to be brought to the court to allow the media access to record the proceedings, Baba said. The application would need to be submitted and  heard at the same court at least two weeks before the commencement of the trial.

Zuma’s lawyers have indicated that they intend to oppose the media’s application to broadcast the trial.

Following the proceedings at the Randburg court, Zuma junior and senior left amid heavy security. Duduzane is also due in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Johannesburg on Thursday to face corruption charges. These are expected to be withdrawn.

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