Court finds Zuma's son not guilty over car crash death

Duduzane Zuma, son of former South African president Jacob Zuma, arives at the Randburg Magistrate Court on homicide charges related to a fatal car crash in 2014, inÊRandburg, near Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 12, 2018. [Reuters]

A South African court on Friday found Duduzane Zuma, son of former president Jacob Zuma, not guilty of culpable homicide and negligent driving over a fatal car crash, saying prosecutors had failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Duduzane Zuma’s Porsche sports car collided with a minibus taxi on a highway in Johannesburg in February 2014, killing a woman and injuring at least one other.

Zuma, who said he lost control of the car after a puddle caused him to aquaplane, initially avoided prosecution after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided not to charge him.

The NPA reversed its decision last year after a rights group threatened to prosecute Zuma privately.

“I accept the defence argument that none of the evidence presented established that there was anything that a reasonable man in the position of the accused on that night would have foreseen,” the judge at the Johannesburg court said.

“The state failed to prove the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” he said.

Duduzane attended the court hearing with his father. He had pleaded not guilty.

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Jacob Zuma told state broadcaster SABC he was pleased by the ruling. Duduzane Zuma declined to answer questions from a SABC reporter.

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Duduzane ZumaSouth African president Jacob Zuma