Former President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane has been released on R100‚000 bail after being charged with alleged “state capture” corruption for “offering an unauthorised gratification to a public figure”.
The state says Duduzane acted “in common purpose” with Ajay Gupta’s alleged attempt to bribe former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas in October 2015‚ as part of the Gupta family’s alleged efforts to capture and control the National Treasury.
Prosecutors asked that the case against Duduzane be postponed to January next year so that other individuals implicated in this alleged corruption could also be charged.
Zuma’s lawyers objected to this long delay‚ arguing that the case was over two years old and should be ready for trial.
Advocate Dawie Joubert‚ for Zuma‚ argued that the state’s case against the 34-year-old was “very weak” and said he denied Jonas’s allegations.
Former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane has maintained that he is not guilty of corruption and is confident of his innocence. Zuma said he intends to plead not guilty. He made a short appearance at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Joburg on Monday morning and was released on R100 000 bail.
In a sworn affidavit filed at the court, Zuma made his case on why he was not a threat to justice and was willing to face the charges against him. Zuma has been charged with corruption in relation to a bribe that was offered to then deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas by Ajay Gupta in his presence and businessman Fana Hlongwane’s presence.
Jonas alleged that meeting took place on October 23, 2015, and he was offered R600 million, a R600 000 immediate cash payment and a promotion to become the minister of finance. Duduzane, who has been residing in Dubai since February 2018, said he returned to the country last week fully aware that he might face criminal charges.
“I deny that I am guilty of any criminal acts in relation to these averments and am returning to South Africa fully aware that I am facing not only the charges of culpable homicide but potentially some of which may well be serious in nature,” said Duduzane.
“I am confident not only of my innocence but also of the fact that it would be in the best interest of justice to be released on bail pending the outcome of any charges as might be brought against me,” he said.
Zuma said he was also willing to give evidence at the state capture inquiry, which is set to begin soon and will investigate allegations of state capture by the Gupta family and involving various government officials and state-owned entities.
“I am aware of various allegations emanating from various sources generally relating to what has become known as state capture, issues which I have been alleged to have involved in. I am returning to South Africa fully aware of the fact that there is a pending commission of inquiry at which I may indeed wish to give evidence,” said Zuma.
In his bail application, he had asked that his passports not be confiscated as he required them to travel abroad for business, but this request was denied and he has since handed over his two passports.
He will have to report to the Rosebank Police Station daily and inform the investigating officer if he needs to travel outside Gauteng. Zuma, who will be residing in Saxonworld, told the court that he left his wife in Dubai as she was “substantially pregnant”. The 34-year-old’s next court appearance will be on January 24 2019.
The NPA explained that there were currently ongoing investigations relating to Zuma that needed to be conducted before the next appearance. It is believed that Ajay Gupta and other parties involved in the case may also be charged along with Zuma.
Later this week Zuma is also expected to appear in court to be charged with two counts of culpable homicide.
The two-homicide cases were the result of a 2014 accident in which Duduzane’s car crashed into a taxi and instantly killing Phumzile Dube. The accident took place on the M1 in Johannesburg. Another woman who was also involved in the same accident died in hospital a few weeks later