Duduzane Zuma will be in court today - but he won't be wearing leg-irons
Duduzane Zuma‚ the son of former president Jacob Zuma‚ will be back in court on Thursday morning as he faces‚ for the first time‚ charges of culpable homicide linked to a 2014 collision between his Porche and a minibus taxi.
And this time he won’t be in leg irons.
Zuma’s court appearance at the Randburg Magistrates Court is expected to be brief‚ as both the state and the defence have agreed that the case against him will be postponed until 14 August. He will be released on warning‚ meaning he will not have to apply for bail.
While this court appearance should be far less dramatic than his shackled 15-minute bail hearing at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday‚ there are already indications that there may demonstrations outside the court room.
An organisation calling itself as “Freedom For Duduzane” has distributed flyers stating their intention to gather outside the Randburg Magistrates Court in support of Zuma’s son.
It’s unclear who makes up the membership of the group‚ but its slogans make its unhappiness over Duduzane’s multiple prosecutions clear: “NPA said there was no warrant for his arrest. Why did they chain him? Did they chain [former Steinhoff CEO] Markus Jooste?”
Black First Land First has also come out in support of Zuma.
Zuma was shackled when he appeared to face an alleged “State Capture” corruption case earlier this week‚ a practice that the Hawks have said was “standard” at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
He was released on bail of R100‚000 after being formally charged with trying to bribe then deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas in October 2015 – months before his father announced the shock axing of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.
It is the state’s case that‚ under the doctrine of “common purpose” or criminal conspiracy‚ Duduzane Zuma associated himself with a Gupta family plot to “buy” Jonas – so that he would act to further the family’s business interests.
Zuma‚ however‚ maintains he will be proven innocent.
He says Ajay Gupta‚ who the state has portrayed as the mastermind of the alleged Jonas plot‚ can show through cell phone records that he was even not at the meeting that now forms the basis of the prosecution against him.
Zuma agreed to hand over both of his passports as part of his bail conditions‚ but he’s made it clear that he needs to travel for work – and has a five-months pregnant wife in Dubai.
He has stated under oath that he returned to South Africa to face the culpable homicide charges against him‚ which he maintains he is innocent of.
In his culpable homicide case‚ the state argues that Zuma’s negligent driving resulted in the deaths of two women.
Phumzile Dube was killed in February 2014 after Duduzane’s Porsche collided with the taxi in which she was travelling. Her fellow passenger Nanki Jeanette Mashaba‚ who was injured in the accident‚ reportedly died in hospital a few weeks after the crash.
In August 2015‚ the NPA decided not to prosecute the former president's son despite Magistrate Lalitha Chetty found‚ during a formal judicial inquest into the death‚ that there was prima facie evidence that Dube's death had been caused by the younger Zuma's negligent actions.
But‚ after Afriforum and former prosecutor Gertie Nel announced that they intended to pursue a private prosecution against Zuma‚ the state reversed that decision.
Former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane arrived for his first court appearance for corruption with leg irons around his ankles‚ and greeted the journalists seated behind him‚ while he awkwardly stood in the dock.