The Hawks have confirmed they are looking into whether Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, the daughter of former president Jacob Zuma, was involved in last year’s July riots.
Zuma-Sambudla posted a series of controversial tweets during the period of the unrest, some which were deemed as inciteful and inflammatory. She had been taking to social media to express gratitude to those who protested, in support of her father. It was the former president’s arrest which essentially sparked the violence as many in KwaZulu-Natal had taken to the streets to demand his release, but the protests soon morphed into looting sprees which also spread to Gauteng.
At least twenty people accused of instigating the July unrest were arrested and subsequently made an appearance in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 12 August 2022. While Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla’s name does come up as part of the Hawks’ investigation, the elite crime-busting unit has clarified that she is not among those handcuffed.
Zuma-Sambudla’s name even came up during the South African Human Rights Commission‘s own probe into the July violence. Jean le Roux, a research associate at the Digital Forensic Research Lab told the commission that Zuma’s daughter engaged in the most celebratory posts during the chaos, citing her Twitter posts.
“She did this quite prolifically throughout the period of the unrest. In some cases, she was also the one that took truck protests from the year before and attached that same statement to those tweets, giving the impression that these are protests happening in support of her father and his incarceration,” Le Roux said.