Ex-president’s son found not guilty in fatal car accident

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The son of former South African president Jacob Zuma has been found not guilty of culpable homicide and negligent driving related to a 2014 car crash that killed a taxi passenger.

Duduzane Zuma, 35, was acquitted Friday by a magistrate who found that the state had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Prosecutors argued that Zuma could have prevented his Porsche 911 vehicle from aquaplaning and that he should not have been driving at a high speed, but the court rejected this argument.

Instead the court accepted the evidence of a forensic engineer and accident reconstruction expert who testified in Zuma’s defence that he lost control of his vehicle because it hit a puddle of water on a rainy day along a Johannesburg freeway.

The former president attended the court proceedings and told the state broadcaster after the judgment was delivered that he was relieved that his son had been acquitted.

“I feel happy that the case is over, first of all, and that he was not found to have been irresponsible when driving. It was the road condition which resulted in the accident. The court handled this case well, I’m happy with the judgment,” he said.

The elder Zuma to appear on Monday before a state corruption commission that is probing graft allegations related to government and state companies’ contracts.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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