Man arrested, faces drunken driving charge over Zuma accident

29 March 2024 - 12:32
By Khanyisile Ngcobo
Former president Jacob Zuma was involved in a car accident on Thursday. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu Former president Jacob Zuma was involved in a car accident on Thursday. File photo.

A man has been arrested in connection with a car accident involving former president Jacob Zuma, police confirmed on Friday.

Zuma and his protectors escaped unharmed in the crash, which occurred while he was travelling to Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal. The accident happened at about 6.30pm on the R66, police spokesperson Brig Athlenda Mathe said.

“The man’s motor vehicle collided with Jacob Zuma’s official armoured state vehicle.

“At the time of the collision, Zuma was in the vehicle with his protectors. No one was injured, including members of the Presidential Protection Services (PPS). The former president was evacuated and taken to his residence,” said Mathe.

The 51-year-old man was charged with drunken driving as well as reckless and negligent driving. He will appear in the Eshowe magistrate's court on Tuesday.

Zuma's accident was confirmed by the MK Party's head of elections in KwaZulu-Natal, Musa Mkhize. In an interview with the SABC, Mkhize said the party and Zuma had been warned that such an incident would occur.

“What happened last night [Thursday], I must say that unfortunately we have been waiting for it to happen and it has happened because [Zuma] was warned that before the day of elections, he will be lying in hospital,” he said.

This comes a day after the Electoral Commission (IEC) endorsed objections to the former president's nomination to stand for parliament.

Zuma was nominated by the MK Party as its main candidate for the National Assembly despite him having a criminal record. The criminal record stems from a 15-month prison sentence handed to him by the Constitutional Court after a contempt of court conviction in 2021.

The MK Party said it would appeal against the IEC’s decision.