Former president Jacob Zuma File picture: Kopano Tlape /GCIS
Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday came out guns blazing against reports that he kept $30million (R422m) from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

In a scathing statement, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said the former president was consulting his lawyers and would meet the Press Ombudsman over the reports.

The foundation slammed the Sunday Times for the story, saying it was fabricated and had put the life of the former president in danger.

“On June 4, 2017, the Sunday Times published that the former president has a Dubai home. To date, the newspaper has failed to produce evidence of that non-existent property.

“On October 14, 2018, the Sunday Times admitted that it had published tainted scoops during the Zuma presidency.

“Once again those scoops turned out to be false. It is apparent that the Sunday Times joins an international cabal attempting to put former president Zuma’s life in danger,” the foundation said.

Zuma has come under fire in the past few days over reports that he stashed R422m in his home in Nkandla and then took it to Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).

Opposition parties have called on law enforcement agencies to investigate the allegations.

On Tuesday, the foundation said that this was not true, and noted that the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Lindiwe Sisulu, had denied any knowledge of the money.

It had been reported earlier in the day that Zuma was considering suing the newspaper for the article published at the weekend.

The foundation added that this was part of an ongoing campaign against Zuma, as there had been similar reports in the past.

“Former president Zuma is not aware of any money directed to his Nkandla home from former president Gaddafi, nor has he ever received funds from Gaddafi,” the foundation stated. It said that Swazi King Mswati also did not know anything about the money.

But the foundation said that there was no basis to what had been reported.

Zuma served as president from 2009 until last year.

When Gaddafi was killed in 2011, Zuma was part of a team from the continent trying to mediate with Nato on the bombing of Libya. Gaddafi had ruled the oil-rich North African state for more than three decades before he was killed.

Political Bureau