'Zuma poisoning reports are speculation of a serious nature'
The State Security Minister has rejected claims that the president was poisoned by one of his wives.
JOHANNESBURG - State Security Minister David Mahlobo says he regards the reports about President Jacob Zuma being poisoned as speculation of a serious nature.
The Sunday Times reported that one of Zuma's wives, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, had been banned from Nkandla after he suspected her of trying to poison him last year.
The presidency has rejected the allegations, labelling it as malicious gossip.
However, it's been reported that American and Russian doctors confirmed he had been poisoned.
Mahlobo says he cannot shed any light on the matter at this stage.
"The spokesperson for the president has eloquently responded to those particular allegations. Therefore, around these accusations, I am saying that if they need to follow it through, the spokesperson has said this thing is not there."
Concerns have also been raised about Zuma's reputation.
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says regardless of whether it's true or not, Zuma's reputation is on the line.
"Adding to many other challenges and that in itself, having the story so close to him of his spouse. It will linger on so long as they read into which first lady has come and to which event and how frequently."
Speculation about the couple's relationship circulated after Ntuli-Zuma was cast out of the Nkandla residence last month and she was also not in attendance at the recent State of the Nation Address.
Sources close to the Zuma family have reportedly confirmed that Ntuli-Zuma was cast out after the president suspected her of involvement in efforts to poison him.
She has reportedly been unhappy after being sidelined following allegations that she had an affair a few years ago.