The prosecution relates to a car accident on 1 February 2014 on the M1 highway in Gauteng caused by Mr Zuma. Phumzile Dube, a young female passenger in another vehicle, was killed in the accident.
The National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) decided on 18 August 2015 not to prosecute Mr Zuma, despite the fact that Magistrate Lalitha Chetty had found during a formal judicial inquest into the death that prima facie proof had existed that Dube’s death had been caused by Mr Zuma’s negligent actions. The NPA never informed the Dube family of its decision not to prosecute Mr Zuma. This decision was only revealed after the so-called Gupta emails had surfaced.
Nel and AfriForum acts in their case against Mr Zuma on behalf of Pedzisani Dube, the deceased’s brother, and Edina Dube, her mother, who is taking care of the deceased’s five-year-old child. Nel has already submitted an application to the NPA on behalf of the Dube family to obtain a nolle prosequi certificate. As soon as AfriForum receives this certificate, the process to privately prosecute Mr Zuma will commence. The Dube family is eager to see to it that, with AfriForum’s help, justice will prevail in Dube’s death.
According to Nel, AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit was indeed established to ensure equality before the law and that justice was served – regardless of who the perpetrator was.
“There exist no valid grounds for the NPA to decline to prosecute Mr Zuma, and Dube’s family deserves that justice is served and that the case is not treated differently as a result of who the perpetrator is,” Nel said.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, said that the intended private prosecution had to send a very clear message that no one was above the law, “not even if your surname is Zuma”.
Nel explained that, if the NPA issued the nolle prosequi certificate, AfriForum would have to start the private prosecution process within 90 days. The prosecution would then continue in Court just like any other criminal case, except that Nel would be the prosecutor, although not employed by the NPA. The NPA has the option to review its decision not to prosecute Mr Zuma and to indeed prosecute him. According to Nel, such a decision would also be a victory for AfriForum and the Dube family, as the whole idea behind their action was to ensure that justice is served. Nel indicated that if the NPA should drag their feet in issuing the nolle prosequi certificate, AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit would not hesitate to compel the NPA via the Courts to issue it.