Former South African President Jacob Zuma’s Vehicle Collides with Drunk Driver

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Former South African President Jacob Zuma emerged unscathed from a car accident involving his official armored state vehicle, which was hit by a drunk driver on Thursday evening, according to police reports.

The incident occurred in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal around 18:40 local time. Despite the collision, neither Mr. Zuma nor any members of his official protection team sustained injuries. Following the crash, Mr. Zuma was safely evacuated and taken back to his residence.

Police arrested a 51-year-old man for drunken driving and reckless and negligent driving in connection with the incident.

However, Musa Mkhize, the head of elections for Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, expressed suspicion that the crash was not accidental but a deliberate act of targeting. Mkhize warned of such a scenario before, stating that Zuma would end up in the hospital before the elections.

Former President Zuma, aged 81, served from 2009 until 2018, when he stepped down amid corruption allegations, which he has consistently denied. Despite his resignation, Zuma is entitled to an official protection team.

Coincidentally, the car crash occurred on the same day that the electoral commission barred Mr. Zuma from running as a candidate in the upcoming general election on May 29. Legal constraints, including a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court handed to him in 2021, rendered him ineligible for candidacy.

The exclusion of Zuma from the ballot could impact the African National Congress (ANC), potentially leading to a decrease in their share of the vote, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, where Zuma wields significant influence.

As the political landscape shifts, the incident underscores the heightened tensions surrounding South Africa’s upcoming election and the complex interplay of factors shaping its outcome.

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