Duduzane Zuma Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso African News Agency (ANA)
Parties playing politics outside the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where Duduzane Zuma made a brief appearance on charges of culpable homicide on Thursday, have been criticised for creating a diversion from the legal process that was unfolding.

According to advocate Zola Majavu, both Kallie Kriel’s lobby group AfriForum and Andile Mngxitama’s Black First Land First (BLF) were creating a political sideshow and not assisting the legal process.

“There is nothing unusual about this culpable homicide case, it is assuming it’s high profile because of the person involved but also because of AfriForum and BLF playing politics about it,” said Majavu.

Phumzile Dube was killed instantly when Zuma’s son crashed his Porsche into a taxi on Grayston Drive, Sandton, four years ago. Another taxi passenger, Nanki Mashaba, died in hospital weeks later.

When asked why the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) took so long to pursue the matter, Majavu stated the inquest as one of the reasons.

“The reasons why they did not prosecute was because the matter went for an inquest. It happens all the time. It took over two years.

“It’s not unusual for the state to prosecute, withdraw and reinstate.

“If this man is innocent let the court of law say so.”

Majavu said the BLF might have a point. “The NPA obviously seems to have buckled under pressure from AfriForum to prosecute.

“But in terms of the law, there is nothing wrong with the NPA saying, ‘We’ve now reconsidered our position, we are now prosecuting’.

“That makes AfriForum irrelevant, they can only become relevant if the NPA does not prosecute. There is no need for a private prosecution if there’s a public prosecution.”

Majavu added that “the family of the deceased are entitled to justice, and whether that justice means that this guy will be found guilty or not is another story.

“Even the accused person is entitled to justice, and justice means we need to allow the law to take its course and let the court pronounce having listened to all the evidence before it.”

Majavu’s comments come following the drama that unfolded outside the court , where BLF supporters got into a frenzy, alleging that charging Duduzane was as a result of a personal vendetta against his father, former president Jacob Zuma.

BLF members prevented Kriel, AfriForum chief executive, from addressing the media.

During his brief appearance, Duduzane appeared relaxed when he was told that his case was postponed to August 23 for the disclosure of inquest proceedings and to allow the defence to go through all the exhibits including the contents of the docket.

One would have thought Duduzane was a hardened criminal because the courtroom was filled with heavily-armed police in bullet proof vests. But this didn’t seem to concern Duduzane as he exchanged pleasantries with his sister Gugu and some supporters while also posing for a selfie.

Journalists outside the court tried to get an interview with him but were told to move away by BLF members, with some remarking that Duduzane was human and “someone’s child”. When they realised that Kriel was also getting media attention, the BLF swung into action screaming and hurling abuse at him.

However, according to political analyst Somadoda Fikeni, the scuffle that ensued afterwards was nothing out of the ordinary for BLF.

“It’s an expected pattern where the BLF has taken the extreme and had defended its own in the form of the former president. That has always been the case so you wouldn’t expect anything less when any of the former president’s sons or himself appears in court.

“They might also be emboldened by what appears to be some support in KwaZulu-Natal because so far they might be struggling to have a national footprint in their support.”

BLF also staged a small protest draping themselves in chains, wearing masks of former president FW de Klerk and chanting “arrest De Klerk because he is a mass murderer”.

“They’ve been quite consistent in the sense of saying that they feel that blacks should not be targeted and whites not be forgiven.

Of course BLF does not have the numbers they have to make that up by being more spectacular and dramatic.

“Most of their events have not been pulling clout, so they make up for that by just being melodramatic. Now if you bring in the AfriForum, which is their ultimate nemesis which tried to get Duduzane prosecuted, they see this as a logical confirmation of this said conspiracy,” said Fikeni.

The analyst added that this has always been the case and people must remember the BLF may still be fingered because there were allegations of involvement in State Capture dealings.

“It is believed that they too might have been beneficiaries.”

Sunday Independent