President Jacob Zuma of South Africa recently told his supporters that he has been the target of multiple assassination attempts since he assumed the presidency.
Addressing a forum of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in KwaZulu-Natal Sunday, Mr. Zuma said he became a target after calling for radical economic transformation.
“I was poisoned and almost died just because South Africa joined Brics (the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa business communities) under my leadership. They said I was going to destroy the country,” Mr. Zuma said, according to the BBC.
While Mr. Zuma claims that there were at least three attempts on his life, he did not identify the person(s) or group(s) who tried to kill him but says they were people close to him.
In April, the Hawks, South Africa’s elite police unit, announced the arrest of a man accused of plotting a coup that involved the mass assassinations of politicians and prominent South Africans, including President Zuma.
And only last week, Mr. Zuma narrowly survived a historic vote of no-confidence by Members of Parliament.
Of the 384 MPs who cast their ballots, 177 voted in favor of the motion to remove him against the 198 who voted for him to keep his job. It is estimated that about 30 MPs from Zuma’s own ruling ANC party cast their votes in support of his removal.
That was the eighth attempt to kick him out of office over allegations of misappropriation, but it was the first vote conducted by secret ballot.
Critics of Zuma’s administration say his government is riddled with corruption and nepotism.