Jacob Zuma unscathed after car crash; ex-president’s aides suspect foul play

Jacob Zuma unscathed after car crash; ex-president’s aides suspect foul play

By News24.com

SOUTH AFRICA: A 51-year-old man has been arrested on charges of drunk, reckless, and negligent driving after he crashed into former president Jacob Zuma‘s official armoured state vehicle on Thursday night.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the accident happened on the R66 at about 18:40.

At the time of the collision, Zuma was in the vehicle with his protectors.

“No one was injured, including members of the Presidential Protection Services (PPS). The former president was evacuated and taken to his residence,” Mathe added.

According to police, the suspect has been detained and is expected to appear in the Eshowe Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, sources close to the incident told News24 that neither the former president nor his bodyguards had sustained any injuries.

One insider said: “He is fine and at home.”

Asked what happened, the insider suggested that someone might have deliberately caused the accident.

“I would say that people are up to their old tricks,” they said.

“The presidential convoy was on the way to the Nkandla homestead from Durban when the incident happened. It was in the evening. A driver drove into the main car carrying the former president.

“The car did not overturn, it was crashed into by another car purposely. Someone drove directly into the presidential convoy. It means they know exactly what they are doing. He is fine and at home.”

Pictures supplied to News24 show that the vehicle crashed into the driver’s side of the BMW SUV. The car’s front tyre seems to have sustained the most damage and scratches could clearly be seen on the front and rear doors.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma

Another source claimed that a drunk driver had lost control and hit the convoy.

“The cars were damaged… everyone was not harmed. The accident happened when the convoy was almost in Eshowe,” they said.

“The guy was speeding around the bends and was shocked to see the presidential convoy and drove directly into the convoy. He was so drunk that he could not stand up straight. I do not think that it was deliberate.

Ubaba was taken by another vehicle, and some remained behind.”

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MK Party head of elections Musa Mkhize told the SABC that they suspected foul play. “Unfortunately, we have been waiting for it to happen. The president was warned that before the day of the elections, he would be lying in the hospital. Thanks to the Presidential Protection Unit members who managed to keep the president safe.

“As MK Party in KwaZulu-Natal, we are highly concerned, and we are registering this, particularly with the Presidential Protection Services and the Minister of Police, that the president’s safety has been highly compromised due to political interference in his safety.”

He claimed that a case had been opened with the police.

Mkhize further alleged that Zuma’s security had been reduced dramatically “and his life is in danger” since he announced his support for the MK Party.

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Zuma, he said, was being kept “in a safe space, well and good under the support he is getting after the incident”.

Mkhize would not reveal Zuma’s whereabouts.

“We definitely suspect foul play. The person who is doing this out there knows what they are doing, just because they have powers to deploy and redeploy and cut the safety of the president, which we strongly believe that is what led to this,” he said.

“I have never heard or seen an incident that happens to the head of state or a former head of state. So why did it happen to President Zuma? Was there enough personnel for the president? Is it the same personnel that he always had?”

Mkhize asked: “Why would a certain car only target the main car where President Zuma was in and not the other few cars that were surrounding him?

“President Zuma was the target.”

In an X post, Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, said her father is in “high spirits” and attending church in Nkandla.

Speaking after a Good Friday service in Bloemfontein President Cyril Ramaphosa said he heard about the “unfortunate” accident.

“I was informed that there was no harm that befell him and the matter is being investigated,” he said.