From Controversial Playboy to Aspiring President: Duduzane Zuma Turned Over a New Leaf

From Controversial Playboy to Aspiring President: Duduzane Zuma Turned Over a New Leaf

Apparently, a leopard can change its spots - well, at least, that seems to be the case with Duduzane Zuma.

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The son of former South African President Jacob Zuma went from working with the Guptas to walking the streets of KwaZulu-Natal to support locals after the devastating floods. Just how did Duduzane transform from controversial playboy to the new people’s bae (according to his fans)?

Duduzane Zuma, Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Guptas, president, Jacob Zuma
Duduzane Zuma has been reshaping his image to win over Mzansi in his bid to become the second Zuma president. Photo credit: Winston Innes / @winstoninnes / Instagram.
Source: Instagram

Briefly News took a look at the 40-year-old’s history and how he has changed to serve the people.

Pre-2019 Duduzane Zuma: Controversial Gupta employee facing prison time

Duduzane Zuma allegedly went from being an 18-year-old needing a tech job to a millionaire, thanks to the Gupta family, according to City Press.

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However, his ties to the Guptas were not the only thing that clouded Duduzane’s reputation. In 2014, he was accused of causing an accident that resulted in the death of Phumzile Dube.

Duduzane Zuma and the Gupta family

Duduzane found himself in the spotlight after his father was elected president. Although Jacob Zuma has 23 children, Duduzane quickly became one of the most popular ones - and, not always for the right reasons.

One of the biggest controversies tied to Duduzane’s name was his association with the Gupta family. According to eNCA, prior to 2016, Duduzane was the director of at least 11 Gupta-linked companies, including Tegeta Resources & Energy, as well as Shiva Uranium.

Duduzane Zuma, Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Guptas, president, businessman, Jacob Zuma, politics
Duduzane Zuma testifies at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on 8 October 2019. Image: Thapelo Morebudi / Sunday Times / Gallo Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Thuli Madonsela mentioned Tegeta Resources and Energy in the state of capture report during her tenure as public protector. Duduzane has since severed ties with the companies by selling his shares.

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The fatal 2014 car crash - Duduzane Zuma is accused of culpable homicide

In 2014, Duduzane Zuma crashed his sports car into a minibus taxi on the M1 South in Johannesburg. The accident resulted in the deaths of two passengers, Phumzile Dube and Jeanette Mashaba. During a culpable homicide trial against Duduzane, the former president’s son said he took responsibility for the crash.

“I do sympathise with people who were affected,” he said while taking the stand, adding: ”It’s a traumatic experience for everybody.”

Briefly News reported at the time that although Duduzane took responsibility for the crash, he pleaded not guilty to culpable homicide.

Duduzane Zuma, businessman, Jacob Zuma, politics, playboy, people's bae, Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Guptas, president
Duduzane Zuma in court while facing culpable homicide charges. Photo credit: by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Alon Skuy / Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Zuma claimed that he lost control over his car after driving over a puddle of water which he had not seen. He also claims that he had been driving under 120km/h because of the rain, according to Sowetan Live.

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In July 2019, Duduzane was acquitted of the charges against him relating to the crash. Magistrate Tebogo Thupatlase had found the State had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Duduzane had been responsible for the incident.

While Duduzane himself declined to comment, his father told media representatives that he was relieved the matter was over and done with.

Duduzane Zuma 2.0: How he has changed since his bid for ANC presidency

Since being acquitted of murder charges and managing to evade any Gupta-linked prosecutions, Duduzane Zuma seemed to have created a whole new image for himself.

Nov 2020: Duduzane announces bid to take on President Cyril Ramaphosa in the next ANC elections

In November, 2020, Duduzane officially declared his plans to follow in uBaba’s footsteps. IOL reported at the time that the former president’s son confirmed he would be challenging Cyril Ramaphosa for the top spot in the ANC.

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They quoted Duduzane saying:

”Yes, definitely. I will be contesting for leadership in 2024. Whatever position the people want me to take, I’ll take. If they say I should be the president, I’ll listen.“

Duduzane opened up about his plans should he be elected president, adding he would start with the youth of the country. He said that all young people should work together regardless of race. Duduzane also stated that even though he is following in his dad’s footsteps, he isn’t going to do things the same way.

He said:

”I’m not the former president. Questions about him should be directed to him. I’m speaking for myself.”

May 2022: Duduzane Zuma believes South Africa can build smart cities like Dubai

Dubai is one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to innovation and tech. For example, in 2021 Dubai made headlines when the city started using ultramodern drone technology to create rain in the middle of a heatwave.

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Duduzane not only aims to fix Mzansi’s ailing economy and empower young people, but he also believes that South Africa has the potential to build smart cities like Dubai.

Briefly News reported previously that the Ward 11 ANC branch chairman in KwaZulu-Natal, said earlier this month smart cities in South Africa can be realised with hard work, like in the United Arab Emirates.

Duduzane was speaking in a video published on Instagram and noted that Dubai was built in 20 years based on openness, technology and futurism - and Mzansi can also achieve such heights.

He was quoted saying:

”In the next 20 years, we will have the newest cities, the most technologically-advanced cities in the world, in SA and that starts now.”

Duduzane Zuma shows up to support KZN flood victims

Duduzane is on a mission to prove to Mzansi that he is ready to serve the people. The 40-year-old stepped up to help flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal by assisting one family at a time. In a video posted on social media, Zuma can be seen using a shovel and clearing away mud that had slid into a home due to floods.

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In another short clip, Duduzane has a mop in hand and can be seen moping the tiled floors of the house that was just cleaned up. While some slammed Duduzane for looking for media attention, others praised him for helping those in need.

Will the new Duduzane win over Mzansi or does his past overshadow all the good?

Duduzane has been working hard to win the trust of South Africans. He has vowed to be a leader that could bring change and better the lives of all citizens. But, his past and the reputation of his father could prevent the aspirng president from reaching his dreams.

It’s nearly impossible to predict whether or not Duduzane would become head of state. While his followers have thrown their weight behind him, Duduzane’s critics have been vocal in opposing his bid for presidency. Briefly News asked our readers what their thoughts were on Duduzane running for president and the reactions were divided.

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Some said the last thing SA needs now is another Zuma in charge, while others felt having a younger leader could be the solution. At the end of the day, only time will tell if Duduzane got redemption.

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Source: Briefly News

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