Plot to assassinate Zuma ‘water under the bridge’

2011-10-17 11:16

The plot to assassinate President Jacob Zuma when he was deputy president is “now water under the bridge”, his spokesperson said today.

“The president raised the matter in the context of honouring his late protector (Patrick Maphumulo), and is not prepared to engage further on it,” Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

Maphumulo (39), who had been Zuma’s bodyguard for a number of years, died in Durban last Sunday of an illness.

According to the Witness newspaper, Zuma spoke of the plot at Maphumulo’s funeral in Umbumbulu, south of Durban, on Saturday.

He told mourners there had been a plot to assassinate him, but that this was thwarted by the loyalty of some of his bodyguards.

They had refused to be coerced into divulging information about his movements.

“Mashimane (Maphumulo’s clan name) was part of the VIP guards assigned to the deputy president. At the time, the plotters wanted some information on who I was talking to and associating with,” Zuma said at the funeral.

“He and some in the bodyguards team showed deep knowledge of politics. They refused to give information about my movements when their superiors wanted it.

“For refusing to be coerced, they were ostracised by their seniors by being refused some privileges enjoyed by their colleagues, but they did not budge.

“At some stage it was enquired how many firearms there were in my guards’ team as they intended attacking and wiping out all the guards and the deputy [president].”

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