Sat, 29 Feb 2020

Former president Jacob Zuma - who claims that death threats have been made against him and his children since his first appearance before the Zondo commission on Monday - still receives the protection services afforded all former heads of state.

When quizzed about whether Zuma would receive protection while a witness at the commission, at a press briefing following the budget vote debate for the Department of Justice on Tuesday, Director-General Vusi Madonsela said Zuma still received protection from the state, albeit not on the same scale as when he was head of state.

"But certainly, he is not left to his own devices," Madonsela said.

He said there was witness protection available for any witness before the commission who felt they were threatened.

On Monday, the former president regaled the commission with a story about a grand conspiracy, involving three intelligence agencies, to get rid of him since 1990. They even sent suicide bombers after him, he said.

On Tuesday morning, Zuma started his continuing testimony by informing inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that his PA had received a phone call on Monday between 19:00 and 20:00.

"This person said, 'you must tell Zuma we are going to kill him, and we are going to kill his children and the people around him'," Zuma said.

He said this followed threats made against his senior counsel, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, a week or so ago.

Zondo said the threats were "totally" unacceptable.

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