Jacob Zuma 'poison plot': MaNtuli wants to sue after '5 years of hell'

Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma (GCIS)
Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma (GCIS)

Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, who was accused of being involved in a plot to poison her estranged husband, former president Jacob Zuma, is planning to sue the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks for malicious prosecution.

Ntuli-Zuma is the second of Zuma's four wives. In 2015, MaNtuli, as she is affectionately known, was banned from Zuma's Nkandla compound by then-state security minister David Mahlobo following "revelations" of her suspected involvement in a plot to poison her husband, News24 reported.

This followed reports by The Sunday Times that, in early August 2014, during a trip to the US, doctors had diagnosed an ailing Zuma as having been poisoned.

However, not trusting US doctors, Zuma went to Russia later that month for treatment. Russian doctors reportedly confirmed the diagnosis.

Zuma believed MaNtuli was responsible and she was banned from his Nkandla compound by Mahlobo and moved to a house in Durban North with her three children. 

In September, however, the NPA said it had decided not to prosecute anyone for the alleged poisoning of Zuma. 

READ | No evidence Jacob Zuma was ever poisoned, MaNtuli will not be prosecuted - NPA

According to a letter to the Hawks from acting KwaZulu-Natal Director of Public Prosecutions Elaine Zungu, there was no evidence to pursue the case. 

According to The Star, MaNtuli now wants to force the NPA and Hawks to disclose what information they had to implicate her as a suspect in the first place. 

Her lawyer, Ulrich Roux, told The Star that a letter of demand would be sent to the NPA and Hawks by the end of the week. 

Roux reportedly said that if they didn't respond to the letter within 30 days, a summons will be issued. 

'Five years of hell'

In an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Monday, MaNtuli described the ordeal as "five years of hell". 

"When the news came in, I was very broken. I felt like I was torn apart," she said. 

MaNtuli said she couldn't believe that she was being implicated. She was informed by Mahlobo that she was a suspect. "I was surprised and hurt at the same time. 

"No one was willing to come near me. No one was willing to work with me. I was isolated from the community that I used to stay in." 

Roux told The Star that MaNtuli had not received any financial support from Zuma or the state. She reportedly also doesn't receive spousal benefits from Zuma, which is one of the issues she intends to sue for. 

During her interview with Newzroom Afrika, MaNtuli said she and her children would sleep together on a double bed in a tiny room and house. "We were cramped."

News24 was unable to reach Zuma's spokesperson, Vukile Mathabela.

Mathabela, however, told The Star that he could not comment on "family issues".

Zuma appeared in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday in his fraud and corruption case. The matter was postponed to February next year for pre-trial proceedings. 

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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