DAYS OF ZONDO

‘King of Corrupt People’ points fingers at Ramatlhodi and perhaps even at President Cyril Ramaphosa

By Ferial Haffajee 15 July 2019
Caption
Former president Jacob Zuma testifying at the Commission of inquiry into state capture in parktown,chair is Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo foto Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24 story Christiaan

Former president Jacob Zuma has outlined a grand conspiracy dating back to 1991, involving foreign and local spies who have allegedly plotted to unseat him. Now, they want to kill him, he alleged before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Former president Jacob Zuma unveiled on Monday what he said was a 29-year-long grand conspiracy against him engineered by international and local intelligence agents to take him out as country president – and now to kill him.

In the course of his first morning’s testimony before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Zuma also claimed that former mineral resources minister and ANC veteran Ngoako Ramatlhodi was a spy and said that businessman Mzi Khumalo had told him he and cabinet minister, Penuell Maduna had been approached by former chief prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka to provide him with a R20-million retirement nest-egg to evade prosecution and get him off the political scene.

Maduna has denied that he and Khumalo were approached by Ngcuka to provide the multi-million nest-egg for Zuma as the former head of state testified.

According to News24, Ramatlhodi also denied the claims made by Zuma.

A ring of steel

There was a ring of steel around the Zondo commission of inquiry’s into State Capture’s headquarters in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, as Zuma made the first of what could be several appearances. Supporters from the students’ congress, Cosas, from the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and others thronged around while hundreds filed into the auditorium of the commission to support him.

Security was beefed up ahead of the hearing and accreditation took place off-site as an additional measure – Zuma told the commission that he had faced an assassination attempt at a recent Maskandi concert in KwaZulu-Natal which he foiled by not attending after receiving intelligence.

As he started speaking at 10am on Monday 15 July, he went back almost three decades to begin to detail a grand conspiracy which he had learnt about as chief of intelligence of the ANC.

Zuma said that he had been told, as chief of intelligence, that:

Among that information is that there are spies that are infiltrated by us (foreign intelligence and one local intelligence agency) in this organisation (the ANC) whom we want to nurture that they grow within the structures of the ANC so that they will lead the ANC.”

The implication of this statement and of Zuma’s narrative was that what he called “The Plan” had been successful – the claimed foreign intelligence network in alliance with one domestic intelligence agency (he didn’t say which one) had managed to put in place their own leadership of the ANC.

While his testimony is still under way, this seems to point a finger at President Cyril Ramaphosa and at his administration.

Speaking about himself in the third person, Zuma said he was now being marginalised by the ANC for this. He said that:

Zuma has information about this (the claimed grand design of the foreign spies). We don’t know when he will use that information to stop that plan of his. Zuma must be removed from the decision-making structures of the ANC.

It’s important to say this because the character assassination I have faced for more than 20 years (has its roots in 1991). There was a plan to deal with Zuma, and Zuma has been dealt with all the time. It is important for me to state that anything that happened since that time, I have been linking the dots all the time.”

Explaining his decision to come before the commission, Zuma said:

Before I die, I must talk. The plan to kill me in Durban was detailed. It involved people brought from outside the country.”

He further said: “I have been the subject of talk in this country for more than a decade. I have been vilified, alleged to be king of corrupt people. The most corrupt.”

Zuma’s testimony on Monday made clear he does not believe in the concept of State Capture and that he does not think he did anything wrong. He painted his relationship with the Gupta family as normal and pretty standard in the ANC.

Zuma socialised the family as an ANC patronage network as he painted a picture of their history in the ANC as having started under the first democratic-era president, Nelson Mandela, and then firmed under former president Thabo Mbeki whose cabinet minister Essop Pahad had been the first political ally of the family. He revealed that he had planted the idea that they should start a newspaper and a television station to displace the media’s negative coverage of South Africa.

As he ended his testimony before lunch, the former head of state expounded on his conspiracy theory. He said that the same hands had got him fired in February 2018.

Finally, I am here, I am about to finish my second term and those people in my organisation who wanted to take Zuma out as intelligence head, they create a situation as I am about to go for the State of the Nation Address, they say, ‘He must not do this one. He must be out.’ It is part of the implementation of the plan that ‘Zuma must go’ and finally, he must come before the commission and answer questions.”

By doing this, Zuma pointed a finger straight at Ramaphosa who, as ANC president, engineered his recall, thus ensuring he did not deliver the 2018 State of the Nation Address. He extended the conspiracy to include the Zondo commission.

Zuma’s testimony is continuing. DM

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