- A report on government’s 6 600 strong VIP protection which costs R2.6 billion per year has been released
- The report shows that only two VIP security breaches were reported in 10 years
- Neither of those was the apparent poisoning of the then president Jacob Zuma in 2014
A report by Gareth van Onselen has been published by the South African Institute of Race Relations which combed through the records of government’s 6 600 strong VIP security department. The unit costs government R2.6 billion per year.
The report shows that in the last 10 years only two VIP security breaches were reported and neither of those was the apparent poisoning of the then president Jacob Zuma in 2014.
Van Onselen says he combed through SAPS records from 2006 to 2017 looking for threats made to VIPs. One breach occurred in 2011 at the Tshwane University of Technology, a second occurred in 2012 when a MEC was threatened in the Northern Cape.
Briefly.co.za gathered that van Onselen said the report was difficult to reconcile with the public record because as recently as August and November last year Jacob Zuma publicly claimed he had been poisoned in 2014.
In August Zuma said: I was poisoned and almost died just because South Africa joined Brics under my leadership. They said I was going to destroy the country.
“I nearly died because they did poison me. They managed to find someone close to me and I know it. I was dead. They don’t believe how I survived. Not one dose‚ because the person who was poisoning me was so innocent‚ so close. Three doses. Even scientists can’t believe why I did not die.”
Van Onselen noted that as president Zuma had a security complement of 88 personnel.
Van Onselen said SAPS reports made no mention of any threats or breaches to president’s security in 2014. He noted that according to Zuma’s own account there clearly was a serious breach of security which led to a medical emergency, severe physical harm and his near death.
First lady Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma was investigated by the Hawks for allegedly being involved in the incident, she was never charged and has maintained her innocence.
Van Onselen said if there was any truth in Zuma’s assertion that he was poisoned to stop South Africa from joining Brics, it constituted a serious political threat and a failure by intelligence services to detect the threat.
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