NATIONAL NEWS - In the third instalment of their interview, former president Jacob Zuma has told his son Duduzane Zuma that the state and the courts allegedly intentionally created debts for him over the years so that he would struggle with his legal defence.
While social media users tried to say Zuma was now happier and had an easier life following his resignation, it seems that has not been the case for the former president, who told his son that his relationship with comrades has not been the same.
The former president had continued to attend ANC national executive committee (NEC) meetings, but he had been “very cautious” about his actions during these meetings.
“I have very deliberately not participated in the discussions and debates, partly because I did not want people to say I was defending my legacy or I’m trying to rule from the grave.
“I’ve allowed people to move, but to be there to make sure I’m seasoned with what is happening in the organisation, [and] where necessary, to put across my views.
“I thought it was important for me to give them space to argue – not that I was not going to debate issues, but to allow ANC members to see if there is anything untoward or wrong,” said Zuma.
In addition to severed relationships with comrades, there were forces that were working hard to make his life a misery, with endless court cases he has been struggling to fight due to his financial struggles.
“As you know, I was never given an opportunity because, as I was moving out, the cases have been piled on me as well as difficulties. Debts were created for me so that I should not even have the capacity to deal with the cases,” said Zuma.
While the were accusations against him of money being taken out of the country in suitcases, Zuma said he never made any money during his time in office.
“My task in the ANC was to work honestly, not take or steal money. Nobody can point at a penny that I stole.”
To add to his struggles, he said, President Cyril Ramaphosa had refused for government to continue to fund his court cases, and the money he had to pay back that was spent by the state on his Nkandla homestead upgrades had also drained Zuma financially.
Zuma accused Ramaphosa of leaving him out to dry after Mbeki had signed an agreement for government to fund his court cases on the presumption of his innocence. Zuma would only become liable for the costs if the verdict failed to go his way.
“The new leadership looked at things differently. The cases I was having, government in the past had an agreement that if you’re charged while in government, the case processes would be paid by government. Only then if you lose the case would you refund government. If you don’t lose it, you don’t refund.
“I even had an agreement with [then] President Mbeki, who signed that it would be the case, but the new president did not want to associate himself with it, so that was him saying, ‘Let us let him out there to dry.'”
As for Nkandla, he said: “There was a very cleverly worked out situation, much as I did not do anything with anything in our homestead, which was the decision of the family that we should extend our homestead. But deliberately, the courts of this land were made to give me a debt of R8 million [the bill for the repayment calculated on the costs of ‘non-security-related upgrades’] – which I did nothing about, so unfair,” bemoaned Zuma.
“While it was the state security department that decided to add security measures, some said I benefited indirectly with my family. Old presidents, where they’re staying, they’ve got features of security put [there] by government. Not a single one has been accused of benefiting indirectly with the family.
“It’s only me, so debts can be created, either by government apparatus or comrades or former comrades. Instead of enjoying freedom and participating, people have not been sleeping planning how to deal with me,” alleged Zuma.