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Zuma poison claims will not be prosecuted, says NPA

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 20 September 2019

Former president Jacob Zuma testifies at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Netwerk24)

The National Prosecuting Authority will not prosecute anyone over former president Jacob Zuma's claims that he was poisoned.

No one is to be charged or prosecuted in connection with poisoning claims made by former president Jacob Zuma because there is no evidence to back up the claims.

This is according to a letter to the Hawks written by the acting KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions, advocate Elaine Zungu and first reported on by Business Day on Friday.

The letter, which has since been shared on social media, notes that Zuma had not even provided an affidavit of his claims and as a result could not be referred to as “a complainant” by Zungu. 

Zungu also cited that the State Security Agency’s (SSA) report did not contain any evidence that Zuma was poisoned “let alone by whom”. In 2015 Zuma’s second wife, Nompulelo Ntuli-Zuma was banned from his Nkandla homestead by former state security minister David Mahlobo after she was suspected to have been involved in the plot to poison Zuma. 

In 2017, Zuma finally broke his silence about his poison claims and told a gathering of ANC supporters that he was poisoned. 

I was poisoned and almost died just because South Africa joined BRICS under my leadership,” Zuma was quoted saying by the Mail&Guardian. 

News24 reported that in early August 2014, during a trip to the US, doctors diagnosed an ailing Zuma with having been poisoned. Out of mistrust for US doctors, he went to Russia that same month reportedly for treatment after the diagnosis was confirmed. 

According to Friday’s Business Day report, the NPA’s decision not to prosecute follows the action from Ntuli-Zuma’s lawyers who pushed the state to decide whether she will be formally charged over the alleged poisoning of his husband after waiting for almost five years. 

Ntuli-Zuma’s lawyer, Ulrich Roux, was quoted as saying: 

My client should never even have been mentioned in these allegations and it is a shame that it took the SAPS more than four-and-a-half years to determine that there is not a shred of evidence linking her to this alleged crime, which it now turns out never even existed.”

According to the report, Ntuli-Zuma is still weighing her options. 

Zuma made claims of assassination attempts again during his testimony at the State Capture Inquiry when he alleged that his life and that of his family was under threat because of an assassination ploy meant to “assassinate his character” and murder him. And recently, during his speech at the funeral of his close ally and Bosasa kingpin Gavin Watson, Zuma claimed that “comrades” close to him and with whom he shared the same ideals were being killed.

We’re all going to die one by one. Some of the comrades who are being taken away are comrades who were very close to me in terms of the work and understand where we come from and where we’re going. I have been poisoned myself,” said Zuma. DM

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