Army expert: Zuma poison story ‘highly impropable’

2015-02-24 00:00

ONLY very low doses of poison administered over a very long time could cause symptoms similar to those allegedly shown by President Jacob Zuma.

And with the strict security measures and body guards that are always near, it is highly unlikely that this type of repeated, slow poisoning could take place.

This was the reaction of a former member of the defence force’s chemical and biological weapons programme, who wanted to remain anonymous, to the Sunday Times report that Zuma’s ­senior wife Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma had attempted to poison him.

“I think it is a highly improbable. MaNtuli [Ntuli-Zuma] is not even constantly with him [Zuma] to have been able to administered this type of gradual poisoning.

“He would have to have ingested a ­dosages each night for a considerable amount of time.”

The Sunday Times reported that three sources, which it did not name, had ­confirmed that Zuma fell ill and was ­hospitalised in June last year. During a trip to the U.S. two months later, he learnt he had been poisoned.

He apparently had the diagnosis ­confirmed by Russian doctors in August. At the time, the International Relations Department said Zuma would hold ­low-key meetings and use the time to rest during this visit to Russia.

The newspaper reported that ­Ntuli-Zuma moved out of Nkandla in January and is living in Durban North with her three children. She is still entitled to benefits from the presidency’s spousal office as she and Zuma are not divorced.

Presidential spokesperson Mac ­Maharaj reacted to say the report were based on total speculation and gossip. “I’m not commenting any further ... I don’t comment on gossip.”

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