Former president Jacob Zuma. File photo
In a morning of high drama, former president Jacob Zuma detailed an alleged plot to kill him using “suicide bombers” brought in from outside South Africa and downplayed his relationship with the controversial Gupta family.
Zuma admitted that it was his idea for the family to start a newspaper and television channel, because the media in South Africa was “too negative” and an “alternative voice” was needed, but said that there was nothing untoward about his relationship with the family.
He even admitted to suggesting the name “New Age” for the newspaper, which the former head of the Government Information and Communication Systems head Mzwanele Manyi admitted was a preferred publication for government advertising because they were “not hostile” to government.
He said there was nothing wrong with his relationship with the Guptas and that many other leaders including former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela had relationships with them, but when it came to his relationship with them, people saw something wrong.
“Some people are part of the plot to kill me, it is important to tell this story before I die,” he said.
Zuma outlined a two-decade long plot against him by the apartheid regime, working with foreign intelligence agencies which led to the arms deal, the onslaught over the upgrades to his Nkandla private residence and state capture, claiming it was all part of a grand “plan” to remove him from the political scene.
These alleged plotters even went as far as to plan a hit on his life at a Durban stadium earlier this year.
“The war today is fought… is at intelligence levels, no longer guns. Intelligence conspired to do things to our country. Those negotiating with us… they remain with us here and they are among us… they have their bosses. They have their handlers,” Zuma said.
“They planned to murder me inside the stadium. What saved my life is because I did not go there,” he said.
“The plan to kill me was detailed. Detailed. It involved people brought from outside the country… suicide bombers… for me the matter is bigger, they concoct everything just to deal with Zuma.”
Zuma described another attempt on his life where he was in fact poisoned with a “very dangerous poison”.