South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams this week confirmed that President Jacob Zuma’s second wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, remains a suspect in a case involving an alleged plot to poison her husband, her lawyer said on Sunday.
Lashing out at the 18-month delay since the attempted murder case was opened, Ntuli-Zuma’s lawyer Ulrich Roux, said that this week’s confirmation that Ntuli-Zuma, nevertheless remained a suspect “smacks of some kind of agenda”.
“We have been trying to determine what has been going on for the last 18 months. It’s just a blank hole.”
Roux said that after a docket investigating allegations of attempted murder was opened by Nkandla police in April 2015, Ntuli-Zuma complied with a request to answer certain questions. She sent her response to the KwaZulu-Natal Hawks in June last year.
After receiving no further feedback, Roux said that, in September this year, he sent a request directly to Abrahams asking him to provide an update on the investigation as well as indicate the status of Ntuli-Zuma in the matter.
A letter from Abrahams, dated 17 October this year confirms, “I have been advised that your client has been identified as one of the suspects in the above matter”.
Roux subsequently sent a letter to Abrahams on October 19, requesting further information, including “what charges [have] been preferred” against Ntuli-Zuma, who the “so-called co-accused” were, as well whether the investigation into the matter had been completed.
“I have to date not received any further correspondence from him,”Roux said on Sunday.
“If there are allegations to answer, why not bring her to court and test [them] in court?,” he said.
The delay was “completely irregular,” said Roux.
“It is unprecedented and unheard of… The NPA are dragging their feet.”
On the fourth of January 2015, Ntuli-Zuma was apparently asked by State Security Minister David Mahlobo to leave the Nkandla homestead “under the guise that she was being implicated in a sensitive matter that was being investigated,” said Roux.
Media reports subsequently emerged of a poison plot allegedly involving Ntuli-Zuma after Zuma fell ill in June 2014.
During a trip to the US two months later he learnt he had been poisoned.
In August last year, it was reported that Ntuli-Zuma and various accomplices were on the radar of authorities/ Ntuli-Zuma has consistently denied any knowledge of the plot.
On Sunday, Roux said that Ntuli-Zuma’s main priority remained to have her name cleared.
“She has been co-operating from day one… her reputation has suffered terribly,” he said.
This weekend, the Sunday Times reported on the latest letter from Abrahams.
The newspaper also said that it had spoken to family members who suggested that there were possible talks to be held about reconciling Ntuli-Zuma with her husband.
An unnamed source was also referred to as saying that Ntuli-Zuma was training as a pastor and also wanted to reconcile.
However, Roux dismissed these claims, saying his client denied all the information supplied by the “so-called source”.
“My client is not returning to Nkandla and has not become a pastor… She has made alternative arrangements pertaining to her and the minor children’s permanent residence.”
Meanwhile, NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku, on Sunday, declined to comment on the matter saying the organisation did not investigate crimes.
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