Durban – “EMOTIONAL trauma” is the burden that Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, the wife of former president Jacob Zuma, has carried since 2015, after she was implicated in an alleged plot to kill her husband.
That was the claim made by attorney Ulrich Roux, the legal representative of Ntuli-Zuma, who is the mother of three of Jacob Zuma’s children, in his letter sent last week to the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) head Shamila Batohi.
Roux claimed that no progress had been made with investigations into the matter which has been “hanging over my client’s head since 2015” and required an “urgent” response.
“The SAPS and the NPA have seemingly made no progress pertaining to any further investigation being conducted herein and whether there is merit or substance in the allegations levelled against my client,” said Roux in his letter to Batohi.
NPA spokesperson, Luvuyo Mfaku, said: “We can confirm receipt of representations from Mr Roux in respect of the matter, but we cannot comment further.”
Ntuli-Zuma, also known as MaNtuli, was identified and questioned in June 2015 by Hawks investigators as a suspect in an alleged conspiracy to murder Zuma.
This ocurred after Ntuli-Zuma was instructed on January 4, 2015, by former minister of state security David Mahlobo to vacate the Nkandla compound, Zuma’s homestead.
Mahlobo’s instruction, according to Roux, related to Ntuli-Zuma’s alleged involvement in, or having knowledge of, a plot to poison her husband.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi, was also not prepared to comment about the state of their investigations.
“Despite the letter sent to the NPA, we don’t discuss investigations in the media space. The NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions Batohi) and the Hawks heads will discuss the way forward in the matter,” Mulaudzi said.
“My client has, from the outset, made it clear that she is not aware of, nor was she in any way involved in an alleged conspiracy to murder Jacob Zuma. This still remains her position,” Roux maintained.
He said that in 2015 he had accompanied his client to the Hawks’ offices in KZN and deposed an affidavit under oath which included responses to numerous questions posed by the officer investigating the matter.
Roux said that in October 2016 former NDPP Shaun Abrahams had confirmed in a letter that Ntuli-Zuma was a suspect in the matter.
After sending letters to Abrahams requesting progress updates, Roux said that he had been informed that the head of the NPA’s Priority Crimes Litigation Unit, Dr Torrie Pretorius, was overseeing the matter.
Roux said after much email correspondence to Pretorius’ office, “I am yet to receive any meaningful feedback”.
The wait for action had been “a big burden on my client’s shoulders to carry around. She wants the matter to be finalised so that she can carry on with her life. It has been emotionally traumatic for her”.
About Ntuli-Zuma being aware of a conspiracy to murder Zuma and whether the allegation against her was concocted, Roux said: “She has no knowledge of any conspiracy and has not been involved in anything untoward or illegal.
“She has no proof of any allegations being concocted and is not going to speculate about this. If there is sufficient evidence with which to charge her and bring the matter before the court we urge the NPA to do so. In four years they have not been able to do so and there is accordingly no grounds to do so, in our opinion.”
Roux said approaching the High Court for relief would be their next step if the NPA failed to address his latest letter.