Sorry Zuma, you're late and we won't wait
Jacob Zuma was late for Duduzane's court appearance for culpable homicide and so had to stay in his car
Former president Jacob Zuma missed his son Duduzane’s first court appearance for culpable homicide – after the prosecutor in the case refused a request from the defence to delay proceedings until his dad arrived.
“It’s nine o’clock,” prosecutor Yusuf Baba could be heard telling Duduzane’s lawyers. “Nine o’clock is nine o’clock. We must start.”
As a result, the former president arrived at court while his son was leaving the building, followed by a huge media contingent. Duduzane’s appearance took less than seven minutes, and the case against him was postponed until August 23.Edward Zuma and Duduzane’s lawyers later confirmed that the former president had come to court to “show support” for his son, but had ended up remaining in his car because he was too late to attend the hearing.National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the state could not delay court appearances for individuals not directly involved in the matter.
“We could not delay the court proceedings, as all parties for the case were in court. Yes, the former president is entitled to support his son. But we could not delay the court proceedings for someone who is actually not a party to the case.”Mjonondwana said the state believed it had a “strong case” against Duduzane, who has been charged in connection with a 2014 collision between his Porsche and a minibus taxi. Phumzile Dube, a 29-year-old mother, died in the crash. Jeanette Mashaba was severely injured, and died in hospital weeks after the accident.Neither woman’s family members were in court, but some have told the NPA they planned to attend Duduzane Zuma’s trial. Dube’s family attended almost every day of the inquest into her death, which ended in a ruling that Duduzane Zuma’s negligence had led to the crash that killed her.The NPA however initially elected not to prosecute.
Afriforum announced in April this year it would seek a private prosecution of Duduzane for culpable homicide, prompting the National Prosecuting Authority to reverse its decision not to charge him.Afriforum said it was acting on behalf of Dube’s family, whom former prosecutor Gerrie Nel said had been treated unfairly by the NPA. He claimed the state had failed to even inform Dube’s family that it had decided not to prosecute Duduzane.
Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel tried to address the media after Duduzane’s appearance, but was shouted down by members of Black First Land First. BLF members repeatedly screamed at Kriel that he was a racist who had no right to get involved in “a matter between two black families”.