Duduzane Zuma’s legal team wants court to have culpable homicide case discharged

March 27, 2019
| Report Focus News
MARCH 26, 2019. Duduzane is seen at The Randburg Magistrates Court, in Johannesburg. "Former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane was in the dock on Tuesday in his culpable homicide trial relating to the 2014 death of Phumzile Dube, 30, when his Porsche collided with a minibus taxi.He heard on Tuesday that he will not have to answer for the death of Jeanette Mashaba, who died in hospital a few weeks after the crash on the M1 South highway near the Grayston Drive offramp." PHOTOGRAPH: ALON SKUY

Johannesburg – Duduzane Zuma’s defence lawyer on Wednesday brought an application to have the culpable homicide case against him discharged on the grounds that the State had failed to submit evidence that their client acted negligently when he crashed his car into a taxi.

Advocate Mike Hellens, the senior counsel representing former president Jacob Zuma’s son, told the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday that the State has failed to prove that its case could lead to a guilty verdict. 

“There is nothing which points to negligent driving on the part of Zuma, especially now when it said that the two cars were more or less driving at a similar speed,” lawyer Mike Hellens told the Randburg Magistrate’s Court. 

Hellens said the state has “nothing”. 

“The state does not have accident reconstruction evidence which would explain what could have happened that night,” said Hellens. 

Hellens said the prosecution had failed to make a reasonable case against Zuma. 

“The state only proves the collision, a dark rainy night, but does not proves any negligence by Zuma.”

“The state failed to prove any recklessness either,” said Hellens. 

He argued that Zuma has the right to have his case discharged, as the state failed to prove that its case could lead to a guilty verdict. “The State has exhausted its evidence”.

“Evidence of the state witnesses are of poor quality and cannot be relied on. Where was it said by anyone that Mr Zuma was a negligent driver? It’s not there,” asked Hellens.

Zuma was initially charged with two counts of culpable homicide after a 2014 car accident that resulted in the deaths of Phumzile Dube and Nanki Jeanette Mashaba.

Dube died after Zuma’s Porsche crashed into a minibus taxi on the M1 in Johannesburg. Mashaba died in hospital. However, the court withdrew one of the charges after it was found that Mashaba had another pre-existing medical condition.

Wearing a grey suit, Zuma appeared confident and relaxed during proceedings. He was supported in the public gallery by his father and twin sister Duduzile. 

Zuma has pleaded not guilty to charges of culpable homicide as well as reckless and negligent driving. 

African News Agency (ANA)