JOHANNESBURG – A politically influential son of former President Jacob Zuma of South Africa was released on Friday in a case that has come to be considered a proxy for factional battles within the African National Congress.
The charges against the son, duduzane zuma, so included negligent and reckless driving in connection with a crash in February 2014, when his sports car – a Porsche 911 Turbo – hit a minibus in Johannesburg.
Delivering his judgment in a Johannesburg courtroom, Magistrate Tebogo Thupaatlase said Zuma's guilty in the trial.
Prosecutors had initially declined to charge Mr. Zuma, citing insufficient evidence, a decision that was questioned because of the national prosecuting authority
The head of prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, became known in the local news media as Shaun the Sheep.
Mr. Zuma in 2018, shortly after South Africa's current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, ousted his father from office. Prosecutors separate charged the younger Mr. Zuma in a high-level bribery scandal.
Duduzane Zuma was a close business associate of the Gupta family, Indian business magnates now at the center of a national Corruption scandal.
Duduzane Zuma began rising within the Guptas' sprawling business empire, which spanned the technology, media and mining sectors. Within three years, Mr. Zuma had been appointed director of 11 Gupta-owned companies.
After crashing his Porsche, Mr. Zuma contacted one of the Gupta brothers.
The family of the deceased woman, Phumzile Dube, has traveled to Johannesburg from their home in Zimbabwe for the trial. After the judgment, Ms. Dube's mother, Adina Dube, told local reporters, "The Dube family has been aided by AfriForum, a conservative group that usually advocates for white."
minority rights, to force the state to prosecute Mr. Zuma. South Africans, who as AfriForum's actions to a racist attack on the Zuma family.
Jacob Zuma , who is facing criminal charges of his own, on Friday in support of his son. On Monday, the former president appears to be in a state of wide-ranging inquiry into "state capture," or corruption at the highest levels of government.
With a characteristic laugh, Jacob Zuma told a reporter from the South African Broadcasting Corporation that he pleased with the trial's outcome. Speaking in Zulu he added that he would attend next week's hearings on the allegations against him.
Ralph Mathekga, a prominent analyst and author of Ramaphosa's Turn: Can Cyril Save South Africa? "Said the case has taken on a strong symbolic meaning. "It's about whether South Africa turns the page on the Zuma dynasty," he said.
In an interview just before the verdict, Mr. Mathekga added that the ruling would be subject to criticism of the outcome, reflecting the extent of the fractures within the ANC
"Can the criminal justice system function in such a way that it can be considered free of political influence?" said Mr. Mathekga.