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Duduzane Zuma

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Duduzane Zuma is arguably one of the most recognisable of former president, Jacob Zuma’s children, and is earmarked to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Duduzane Zuma is the 36-year-old son of former president, Jacob Zuma, whose mother is the late wife of Jacob Zuma, Kate Mantsho. Duduzane has been married to Shanice Stork since 2015. He is usually labelled as an entrepreneur, despite his influence in politics and the growing suggestions that he has modelled his career to follow in his father’s footsteps.

In detailing his upbringing, Duduzane has repeatedly stated that he was not brought up with a silver spoon. While the matter is subjective, there is consensus in the narrative of his meteoric raise into mainstream politics, which is partially attributed to his family’s relationship with the controversial Gupta family.

Duduzane started his career as an IT intern after studying at the Nelson Mandela University of Information and Communication. There are suggestions that Duduzane initially had difficulty finding employment, despite being a Zuma. He was then reportedly employed by one of the Guptas’ companies. By 2008, Duduzane was already a major stakeholder and director in different companies owned or affiliated with the family.

His rise from being an IT intern to a major stakeholder in various Gupta-run companies happened before his prolific, yet tumultuous, rise into political prominence. His name soon started making headlines when probes into Jacob Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family were conducted. According to reports and allegations, Duduzane was named as the middleman that would mitigate – to a point – the risk of his father’s questionable dealings with the Guptas.

However, Duduzane has vehemently denied the allegations. Moreover, he has stood in front of judges and a commission to have his name cleared. He went as far as selling the shares he had in various Gupta-owned and affiliated companies to distance himself from the continued references to the Guptas.

In his personal political endeavours, he gained much traction after attending the African National Congress’ (ANC) rally in Port Shepstone in January 2020. Duduzane was accosted by the audience that was present, as it marked the first time that he was formally introduced to the public and people were finally able to put a face to the name.

Since then, Duduzane has been making his views on various political matters heard. With his growing public profile, numerous fake social media profiles were created in his name. While he has come out to categorically state that they were not his, the inflammatory statements made by the fake accounts increased his popularity.

The controversial father-son duo has since started a YouTube podcast series, Zooming With The Zumas. The podcast series gained much traction for the sentiments shared by Duduzane, such as his telling of being the saviour during David Mabuza’s alleged suicide attempt. With no formal word from Mabuza on the claims, the matter is still being debated to this day.

Despite suggestions that Duduzane has applied for citizenship in the United Arab Emirates, he has recently announced his return to South Africa. There is speculation that he is planning to start a political party, which he has neither denied nor confirmed. All he has said is that he will go where he is needed.

Sabelo Makhubo
[email protected]

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