Jacob Zuma, former South African president who is facing corruption charges said on Tuesday that he wished he could disappear because of the barrage of false allegations fabricated against him but political opponents who just wanted to see him out of power.
The told a commission of inquiry that there was a conspiracy against him and that his enemies had subjected him to a “character assassination” because they wanted him out of power.
“This commission, from my understanding, was really created to have me coming here, and perhaps to find things on me,” Zuma said in his opening remarks at the inquiry, looking relaxed and wearing a dark suit.
“There has been a drive to remove me from the scene, a wish that I should disappear,” he said.
The former president also told the commission that he had received a death threat after his testimony the previous day to an inquiry concerning his case.
Appearing for the second day at the Commission of inquiry into state capture, Zuma said his personal assistant received a phone call late on Monday from an unknown caller threatening to kill Zuma and his children.
The country’s deputy chief justice, Raymond Zondo, who is overseeing the inquiry, said the threats were unacceptable.
Zuma is being accused of having presided over a corrupt government. Over the past year, the commission, chaired by the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court Raymond Zondo, has heard from dozens of ministers, elected officials, businessmen and senior civil servants who have come to expose the shady cases of the Zuma era (2009-2018).
Zuma, 77, is suspected of illegally granting lucrative public contracts and undue advantages to a sulfurous family of Indian businessmen with whom he is close, the Gupta.