There are strong indications that the former president is anxious to get justice from the plot to eliminate him, but Eighteen months after NPA boss Shaun Abrahams told former president Jacob Zuma’s estranged wife Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma that she was officially a suspect in an alleged plot to kill her husband, the prosecuting authority still has no solid case against her.
But it has emerged that the National Prosecuting Authority has sent the docket back to the Hawks for further investigation.
The head of the NPA’s Priority Crimes Litigation Unit, Torie Pretorius, last month issued the investigating officer with a fresh directive to investigate the matter further.
Pretorius was assigned by Abrahams in August last year to handle the case against Ntuli-Zuma. He had given the Hawks until the end of last month to complete their investigation, failing which he would drop the case against Ntuli-Zuma, who has through her lawyers denied any involvement in the alleged plot to kill Zuma.
Ntuli-Zuma, known as MaNtuli, submitted an affidavit to the Hawks when they started the investigation, stating her side of the story. But the content of the affidavit remains a closely guarded secret.
Last month Ntuli-Zuma’s lawyer, Ulrich Roux, wrote to Pretorius asking for official feedback on the investigation, but never received a response. He said this was because Pretorius told him, during a conversation, that he had issued the investigating officer with new instructions around the investigation and was awaiting this feedback before the NPA could take a decision.
“Our client was instructed by Minister of State Security, Mr David Mahlobo, to vacate the Nkandla compound on 4 January 2015. Mr Mahlobo’s request ostensibly related to my client’s alleged involvement and/or knowledge of an alleged plot to poison her husband, Mr JG Zuma.
“Despite numerous requests dating back to January 2015, I have not been furnished with any reports pertaining to further investigations carried out in this matter. My client has been burdened with the above allegations for more than three years and is understandably anxious to reach finality pertaining to this matter,” wrote Roux to Pretorius on February 20.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku referred queries to the Hawks.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed the investigation had not been completed as there were certain areas they still needed to cover.
“Once that has been completed as per the NPA’s instructions, the docket will be taken back to them for a decision. So far we have received good co-operation from everyone we have interviewed. We cannot deny that there were some challenges we experienced which delayed other aspects of the investigation. Those matters are receiving attention,” said Mulaudzi. However, he would not say who else had been implicated in the conspiracy to murder Zuma.
“We cannot divuldge their names,” he said.
But Roux says his client is considering her legal options, including civil action against the NPA and the SAPS for damages sustained as a result of their “unlawful” implication of her in the alleged plot.
“It is clear the NPA and the Hawks are clutching at straws by attempting to implicate my client in this matter. If they had any evidence which implicates her in having committed a crime they would have arrested her and brought her before court, yet in more than three years their investigation has not uncovered any proof or evidence implicating my client in any attempt to kill Jacob Zuma,” he said this week.
He said Ntuli-Zuma had co-operated with the investigation from the outset and had deposited an affidavit to the Hawks in June 2015 and maintains that she has no knowledge or involvement in the alleged plot to murder Jacob Zuma.
Ntuli-Zuma, who according to relatives was deserted by her celebrity friends after the news of the alleged poison plot surfaced, is now a born-again Christian and is training to be pastor. She spends most of her time preaching the gospel. She and Zuma have three children.