South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma says an anonymous caller threatened to kill him and his children after the first day of questioning at a corruption inquiry.
As the hearing resumed on Tuesday (today), Mr Zuma testified that his personal assistant who answered the telephone call yesterday night was told: “Tell Zuma we are going to kill him, his children and people around him.”
Presiding Judge Ray Zondo said any threats of violence and intimidation are “totally unacceptable”, adding that witnesses called before the commission of inquiry must be granted the utmost protection.
Mr Zondo, however, cast doubt on whether there was a level of protection available to the former head of state that was higher than what he already receives: “What I don’t know is whether you don’t already have maximum protection. I don’t know if there’s anything beyond the protection you get.”
The inquiry is investigating allegations that the former president oversaw a web of corruption during his term in office.
The allegations against Mr Zuma focus on his relationship with the controversial Gupta family, which was accused of influencing cabinet appointments and winning lucrative state tenders through corruption.
He has also been accused of taking bribes from logistics firm Bosasa, run by the Watson family.
They all deny allegations of wrongdoing.