Another one bites the dock: Zuma summonsed to court
Gerrie Nel vows to get justice for Duduzane's alleged car crash victims
Former prosecutor Gerrie Nel said on Monday that he “really hopes” that former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma would appear in court to face culpable homicide charges on July 12 – and is “absolutely elated” that the families of Zuma’s two alleged car crash victims “will finally get justice”.
Nel, who heads up AfriForum’s private prosecutions unit, last year announced that the lobby group would apply to privately prosecute Zuma over the death of young mother Phumzile Dube. She died after Zuma’s Porsche collided with the minibus she was traveling in in February 2014. Her fellow passenger, Nanki Jeanette Mashaba, reportedly died in hospital weeks after the crash.
Despite Randburg magistrate Lalitha Chetty finding that there was prima facie evidence that Dube’s death had been caused by the Zuma’s negligent actions, the state elected in August 2015 not to prosecute him. Nel claims that decision was not communicated to Dube’s family.
But now, Times Select has been informed – confirmed by Zuma’s lawyer – that the former president’s son has been summonsed to appear in court to face the two culpable homicide charges in 10 days’ time.“When we approached the family for the first time last year, they didn’t even know that there was a decision taken. Nobody consulted with them. But the NPA informed Mr Zuma on the same day that they took the decision not to prosecute,” Nel said.
He added that he was “fairly satisfied” that it was because of AfriForum’s involvement that the NPA reversed it previous decision not to pursue charges.
“Nothing changed. There were no further investigations done. The fact is that they took the decision now, on the exact same facts that were available when they took the decision not to prosecute. The only thing that changed was that we got involved and there was a change on the political front, but nothing else.”
Nel has repeatedly pointed out that advocate Yusuf Baba, who led the evidence for the state in Dube’s inquest proceedings, had pushed for Zuma to face charges. Baba will now lead the state’s criminal case against Zuma in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.
“I’ve said that Mr Baba recommended the prosecution during the inquest … so there is a case and I’m really, really happy for the family,” Nel said.While AfriForum had sought only to charge Zuma in connection with Dube’s death, the state has now summonsed him to appear in court for both her and Mashaba’s deaths. He faces alternative charges of reckless and negligent driving.
Duduzane Zuma’s lawyer Gary Mazaham confirmed that he had received the summons, but said he was not in a position to comment on whether Zuma would actually appear.
“At this time, I have no instructions on that,” he said. “Personally, I can see no reason why he should not appear.”
Confirmation of the summons issued against Zuma – for culpable homicide and alternatively reckless driving – comes as his family announced late on Sunday that his younger brother Vusi had died after a short illness.
It remains unclear whether Zuma, who Mazaham has confirmed is currently not in the country, will attend his younger brother’s funeral.