IN QUOTES | 'MaNtuli' Zuma's 'five years of hell' since poisoning allegation

Former president Jacob Zuma and Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma on a visit to India in 2010. In a recent interview, the former first lady said she was isolated from the community in which she lived after accusations that she had tried to poison her husband. File photo.
Former president Jacob Zuma and Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma on a visit to India in 2010. In a recent interview, the former first lady said she was isolated from the community in which she lived after accusations that she had tried to poison her husband. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times

Former first lady Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma on Sunday broke her silence and shared the difficulties she claims she has faced since being accused of attempts to poison former president Jacob Zuma five years ago. Amid the allegations in 2015, she and her three children were banned from the Nkandla homestead and were moved to Durban North, TimesLIVE reported. 

MaNtuli spoke to Newzroom Afrika's Karyn Maughan.

This after the NPA decided not to prosecute anyone for Zuma's alleged poisoning due to a lack of evidence. 

In April this year, TimesLIVE reported that MaNtuli's lawyer, Ulrich Roux, wrote to NPA head Shamila Batohi, asking her to finalise the investigation against his client as she had been awaiting her fate since 2015.

In the letter, Roux argued that neither police or the NPA had managed to gather enough evidence against MaNtuli.

“In four years, the SA Police Services and the National Prosecuting Authority 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.”

Here are five quotes from her interview with Newzroom Afrika:

Living in isolation

“I was shattered to go to public and do my work. No one was willing to come near me, no one was willing to work with me so I was so much isolated from the community that I used to stay in.”

The pain lingers

“Yes, I'm happy to say I am cleared and the world knows the truth, but the pain is still there.”

It's been hard

“It's been hard to live like this. I loved to do my own shopping and I didn't take this first lady thing in too much. I knew it would end in 10 years. That I couldn't go out and do things for myself without being looked at was hard.”

Legal help

“I resorted to legal help after lots of unsuccessful inquiries on the progress of the case. It took some weight off my shoulders to have a lawyer meditate things for me. I was tired.”

Five years of hell

“I thought my husband knew me. It was a shock. I was subjected to machines [a lie-detector test]. It has been five years of hell. We were moved to a one-bedroom guest house in Greytown to accommodate for the children's schooling.” 

Unpleasant living conditions 

“My kids and I would sleep together on a double bed in this tiny room and house. We were cramped. I asked to return to Nkandla but Mahlobo's official said I'm no longer allowed. I felt abused and betrayed all these years.”

On social media, tweeps said MaNtuli was a victim of abuse, while others asked why she had not received any support from the ANC Women's League.

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