Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit, today announced that AfriForum had instituted legal action to privately prosecute Duduzane Zuma, son of President Jacob Zuma, on a charge of culpable homicide.
The prosecution relates to a car accident on 1 February 2014 on the M1 highway in Gauteng caused by Zuma Jnr. Pumzile Dube, a young female passenger in another vehicle, was killed in the accident.
The National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) decided on 18 August 2015 not to prosecute Zuma Jnr, despite the fact that Magistrate L. Chetty had found during a formal judicial inquest into the death that prima facie proof had existed that Dube’s death had been caused by Zuma Jnr’s negligent actions. The NPA never informed the Dube family of its decision not to prosecute Zuma Jnr. This decision was only revealed after the so-called Gupta emails had surfaced.
Nel and AfriForum acts in their case against Zuma Jnr on behalf of Pezisani Dube, the deceased’s brother, and Edina Dube, her mother, who is taking care of the deceased’s minor child. Nel has already directed a letter to the NPA on behalf of the Dube family to obtain a nolle prosequi certificate. As soon as AfriForum receives this certificate, the process to privately prosecute Zuma Jnr will commence. The Dube family is eager to see to it that, with AfriForum’s help, justice will prevail in Dube’s death.
According to Nel, AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit was indeed established to ensure equality before the law and that justice was served – regardless of who the perpetrator was. “There exist no valid grounds for the NPA to decline to prosecute Zuma Jnr, and Dube’s family deserves to see that justice is served and that the case is not treated differently as a result of who the perpetrator is,” Nel said.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, said that the intended private prosecution had to send a very clear message that no one was above the law, “not even if your surname is Zuma”.
Nel explained that, if the NPA did not issue the nolle prosequi certificate, AfriForum would have to start the private prosecution process within 90 days. The prosecution would then continue in Court just like any other criminal case, except that Nel would be the prosecutor, although not employed by the NPA. The NPA has the option to reverse its decision not to prosecute Zuma Jnr and to indeed prosecute him. According to Nel, such a decision would also be a victory for AfriForum and the Dube family, as the whole idea behind their action was to ensure prosecution went ahead. Nel indicated that if the NPA should drag their feet in issuing the nolle prosequi– certificate, AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit would not hesitate to compel the NPA via the Courts to issue it.