Presidency met with Zuma's wife before poison bombshell

2015-03-01 10:17
President Jacob Zuma and Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma in June 2014. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma and Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma in June 2014. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Officials from the presidency reportedly held a three-hour meeting with President Jacob Zuma's estranged wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, shortly before the story of her alleged involvement in the poisoning of the president broke.

According to the Sunday Times, the meeting was held at the five-star Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks about two weeks ago.

A hotel source said that five officials had met with her and that the meeting lasted more than three hours.


Friends and family have meanwhile closed ranks around the exiled wife, who in turn refuses to answer questions. However, a politically connected Durban North businessman said although Ntuli-Zuma had been ousted from the inner family circle she was not likely to turn on the President as she still received support from him.

It was reported last week that Zuma's office dismissed as gossip a report that Ntuli-Zuma poisoned him.

"It's based on total speculation and gossip," presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

"I'm not commenting any further... I don't comment on gossip."


According to the original newspaper article, three sources had confirmed that Zuma fell ill and was hospitalised in June last year. During a trip to the US 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.

Zuma's brother, Michael, confirmed Ntuli-Zuma had moved out "not long ago".

According to the article, Zuma got so sick during June last year that he began to hallucinate and spoke about his late mother as if she were still alive.

Read more on:    nompumelelo ntuli-zuma  |  jacob zuma  |  durban

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