Former South African President, Jacob Zuma Involved In Car Crash

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Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has escaped unhurt after he was involved in a car accident overnight when a vehicle transporting him was hit by a drunk driver.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) made this known on Friday, saying that the incident occurred a few hours after electoral officials barred Zuma from standing in the May 29 general election, further stoking tensions in the run-up to the polls.

The AFP reports that the police said that the drunk driver’s car “collided with Zuma’s official armoured state vehicle.”

The SAPS reportedly said that the driver, a 51-year-old man, was arrested in KwaZulu Natal province “for drunken driving, as well as on a charge of reckless and negligent driving.”

The police confirmed that the former President and his bodyguards escaped uninjured and he was taken to his place of residence.

Zuma, a former veteran of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), was forced out of office in 2018 under a cloud of corruption allegations but still wields political clout.

In December he announced he would be campaigning for the opposition Mkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party in an attempt to relaunch his career — a major blow to the ANC.

AFP reports that on Wednesday, the ANC launched a new court application against MK, after losing an initial bid to have it disqualified.

The ANC says that MK’s name and logo are similar to those of the now disbanded apartheid-era military wing of the ANC once led by Nelson Mandela and that this could deceive or confuse voters.

MK’s spokesman, Nhlamulo Ndhlela, reportedly alleged that the car collision was not a coincidence.

AFP quoted Ndhlela as saying, “The police minister who is responsible for the former president’s protection unit has not upgraded his vehicle for eight years and he is the same person that has previously uttered messages around burying Zuma.”

He added, “There is underhand at play here,” alleging that Zuma’s car was specifically targeted in the motorcade.

Political tensions are running high in the lead-up to the polls, in which the ANC is on the brink of dropping below 50 percent of the vote for the first time since it came to power at the end of apartheid in 1994.

The party is bleeding support amid a weak economy and allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

Zuma’s car accident, two months before the vote, is said to have sparked conspiracy theories across social media.

As the drunk driver is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, when asked how Zuma was, Ndhlela told AFP that he “is in high spirits as always and was in laughter this morning about the accident”.

“But it does not mean he took it lightly (or that) he is not aware of what’s happening,” he added.

Referring to the ANC, Ndhlela said, “Mr Zuma is in church today praying that the devil does not come into MK.”

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