Zuma’s son blamed for Plumtree woman’s death


JOHANNESBURG — South African President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane is expected to be questioned by the police this week after he crashed his Porsche into a minibus taxi, killing a Plumtree woman instantly and leaving two other passengers critically wounded on Saturday last week.

A breathalyser test to determine a driver’s alcohol level is mandatory at an accident scene, according to a senior traffic police officer, especially if there has been a fatality.

But in Duduzane Zuma’s case this was overlooked last Saturday night after his Porsche 911 Turbo collided and rammed into the back of a taxi. The accident happened in Grayston Drive in Sandton, Johannesburg, at around 10pm. Phumzile Dube (30), was killed in the collision. She was buried yesterday in Plumtree.

A senior traffic police officer, who did not want to be named, said a breathalyser test was mandatory at an accident scene. Edna Mamonyane, a senior officer with the Johannesburg metro police, said someone responsible for an accident would have to be breathalysed.

“If it says they are over the limit, then we go to a district surgeon and we have to open a case,” she said.

“A district surgeon will only draw blood if we have a case number. They will then draw blood and [the sample] is sent to a laboratory.”

Johannesburg metro police spokesman Wayne Minnaar said the officer at the accident scene decided not to conduct a breathalyser test because Zuma had shown no signs of being intoxicated.

“It was dark and the accident occurred in heavy rain,” he said.

Minnaar said Zuma’s car would only have been impounded if its brakes had failed or it was clearly not roadworthy — which was not the case.

The police allowed Zuma to have his car towed away. It was yesterday traced to the Porsche Centre in Paulshof, north of Johannesburg, where it was waiting to be repaired.

The car had a large dent on the left side of the bumper and another in the rear. Minnaar declined to comment on suggestions that Zuma received preferential treatment at the accident scene. “The accident is a matter between the State and an individual until such time as the individual appears in court.”

Zuma is expected to be questioned by police this week, but no one has yet been charged in connection with Dube’s death. Mamonyane said on Saturday that it was standard procedure to charge two other passengers in the taxi, one of them a 72-year-old woman, were badly injured and admitted to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg. Taxi driver Vusi Dlamini was taken to the hospital after he collapsed on the scene.

Dube’s husband, Themba, said he was disappointed that Zuma had not contacted the family or tried to help them financially with funeral arrangements. Duduzane Zuma could not be reached for comment. He failed to answer calls or return text messages and even his twin sister, Duduzile, refused to speak to the Sunday Times.

Duduzane, whose mother, Kate, committed suicide in 2000, is regarded as Zuma’s favourite.

— Sunday Times