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Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Former South African President Jacob Zuma emerged unharmed from a car collision involving his official armored state vehicle on Thursday evening, according to local authorities. The incident, which occurred in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal at approximately 18:40 local time, involved a collision with a drunk driver, as confirmed by police statements. Despite allegations from a prominent member of his uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party suggesting deliberate targeting, authorities have arrested a 51-year-old individual for charges including drunken and reckless driving.

Zuma, accompanied by his official protection team, was promptly evacuated to his residence following the collision, and no injuries were reported among the occupants of the vehicle. Musa Mkhize, the MK’s head of elections, expressed concerns regarding the nature of the crash, implying a premeditated act rather than an accident, as reported by public broadcaster SABC.

The 81-year-old Zuma, who served as president from 2009 until 2018 amidst corruption allegations, maintains his innocence despite legal challenges. As a former president, he retains the entitlement to an official protection team. The collision coincided with the announcement from the country’s electoral commission barring Zuma from candidacy in the upcoming general election, citing a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court imposed in 2021.

Speculations abound regarding the potential impact of Zuma’s situation on the African National Congress (ANC) as some opinion polls suggest a potential decline in their traditional support base. The newly formed MK party, particularly influential in KwaZulu-Natal, where Zuma holds sway, could further complicate the political landscape leading up to the May elections.

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