6 key things you need to know from the first day of Duduzane Zuma's trial

27 March 2019 - 07:49 By Odwa Mjo
Duduzane Zuma at the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg on July 12 2018.
Duduzane Zuma at the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg on July 12 2018.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Duduzane Zuma, one of the most publicly known sons of former president Jacob Zuma, appeared in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for his culpable homicide trial related to the 2014 death of Phumzile Dube.

Dube died after Zuma's Porsche 911 drove into a minibus taxi she was travelling in.

Here is everything you need to know about Duduzane's first day in the dock. 

Not guilty plea

Zuma pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the fatal accident that occurred on the M1 South highway in Johannesburg in 2014. 

Withdrawal of second culpable homicide charge 

The state said Zuma would no longer be charged with culpable homicide for the death of another minibus taxi passenger, Jeanette Mashaba, who died in hospital several weeks after the accident. 

The charges were withdrawn after a pathologist report showed Mashaba had a pre-existing condition and was therefore declared to have died of natural causes. 

Climatologist Mthobisi Nxumalo 

Due to Zuma's claim that it was raining when he lost control of his Porsche, a climatologist from the South African Weather Service, Mthobisi Nxumalo, was brought in.

In a statement, Zuma said it was raining around 10pm and that he could not control the car after he drove into a pool of water. 

Nxumalo said it would be difficult to tell whether there was heavy rainfall in that specific area of Johannesburg on the day of the accident. 

Porsche witness

A Porsche employee, Jacques Cronjé, said Zuma bought the Porsche in 2007 and it was last serviced in November 2013, three months before the accident.

Vusi Dlamini

The driver of the minibus taxi took the witness stand to give his version of events.

Dlamini told the court that he was driving at no more than 100km/h on the highway while transporting commuters from Fourways, in the north of Johannesburg, to the CBD.

Dlamini said a passenger alerted him to look out for the Porsche. However, Dlamini said he could not see the car before it crashed into his taxi.

Dlamini told the court that the taxi spun several times after the crash.

Matron Noni Mdakane

One of the passengers who was in the minibus taxi, Matron Mdakane, told the court that she did not recall the taxi spinning after it was crashed into.

Mdakane also detailed the horror scene after the crash, including having to close the deceased Phumzile Dube's eyes.

Mdakane said she could see that Zuma was speeding and had warned the driver.