Former president Jacob Zuma with his daughter Dudu Zuma-Sambudla. Picture: DUDU ZUMA-SAMBUDLA/TWITTER
Former president Jacob Zuma with his daughter Dudu Zuma-Sambudla. Picture: DUDU ZUMA-SAMBUDLA/TWITTER

One of former president Jacob Zuma’s daughters has come under scrutiny for allegedly inciting violent unrest that has claimed at least 72 lives and led to rampant looting.

As many as 12 people are on authorities’ radar for stoking the riots, police minister Bheki Cele said on Tuesday when asked if Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla was being investigated. An unverified Twitter account under her name encouraged people to protest against her 79-year-old father’s incarceration on contempt-of-court charges last week. She hasn’t distanced herself from the posts.

Attempts to contact Zuma-Sambudla for comment were unsuccessful.

The ANC has distanced itself from the comments attributed to Zuma-Sambudla, saying that she will be called to explain her tweets as a member of the party. The DA said it plans to file a police complaint.

Any investigation into Zuma-Sambudla would be malicious, according to Mzwanele Manyi, a spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

“They must not even try that, it is absolute nonsense. People are on the streets, most of them are not on Twitter. They don’t even know what is Twitter,” Manyi said. “There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between what she is tweeting and what is happening. To try and link it to her is another persecution of the Zuma family, pure persecution.”

The country’s socio-economic challenges are the main causes of the riots and must be addressed, according to Duduzane Zuma, Zuma-Sambudla’s twin brother. In a video shared by an associate on Instagram, he denied having made any comments aimed at inciting violence.

The riots were more than a “flash in a pan”, but were the manifestation of discontent that had been building up in the country for some time, he said.

Bloomberg. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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