9 July 2018

South Africa: Duduzane Zuma in Shackles At First Court Appearance

Photo: Werner Beukes/Sapa
Duduzane Zuma (file photo).

Duduzane Zuma was shackled and had a nervous smile when he arrived in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court on a chilly Monday morning.

The son of the former South African president has been charged with corruption, alternatively conspiracy to commit corruption, relating to an alleged R600m offer made to former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas in 2015 by Ajay Gupta, in Zuma's presence.

Gupta allegedly offered Jonas the position of finance minister at the family's Saxonwold compound.

"At this meeting, Mr Ajay Gupta in the presence of [Zuma] offered Mcebisi Jonas the position of finance minister, advising him that the current minister of finance was to be relieved of his position in Cabinet," a provisional charge sheet, shared with the media, reads.

"Mr Ajay Gupta further offered an amount of R600 million to be deposited in a bank account of his choice and R600 000 in cash immediately to assist him and his companies in their business ventures with government."

Lengthy postponement

Jonas claimed he refused the offer and left.

The State alleges that Zuma was a party to the crime because he was present.

Magistrate Jeremy Jansen van Vuuren granted him R100 000 bail.

He has also been instructed to hand over his passport to the investigating officer, and - if he wishes to travel - he must first seek permission.

Prosecutor Bulelwa Vimbane stated that a lengthy postponement was required to finalise the investigation. The matter was postponed to January 24, 2019.

The case against Zuma and Gupta was registered in 2016.

Zuma's ever-present and easy charm extended to the team of prosecutors as he greeted each of them by hand.

He joked with the media but refused to be drawn into any serious questions over the proceedings on Monday - or his next scheduled court appearance on two culpable homicide charges in the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

These charges relate to the death of Phumzile Dube, who was travelling home in a taxi in 2014, after Zuma lost control of his Porsche sports car on a rainy and soaked M1 near the Grayston Road off-ramp.

Another passenger, Jeanette Mashaba, died a few days after the crash - and her death was originally ruled as one of natural causes.

Source: News24

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