Death threats issued against Zuma

Leader of the MK Party, Jacob Zuma, this past weekend was exposed to assassination threats by a social media user on ‘X’. Picture: File

Leader of the MK Party, Jacob Zuma, this past weekend was exposed to assassination threats by a social media user on ‘X’. Picture: File

Published Jun 11, 2024


PhD holder, Dr Simamkele Dlakavu, this weekend purportedly took to ‘X’ and demanded the death and assassination of uMkhonto weSizwe Party president Jacob Zuma.

Dlakavu, in a series of tweets, purportedly coming from her account, immediately gained traction with over 900 comments and 395K views.

The tweet read: “The best thing you can do for me as a country is kill Jacob Zuma. he must die. Take him out now.”

Another one wrote, “Imagine, I wrote a whole PhD about how much I wanted Jacob Zuma to die. Now, it’s just time to make it a reality. I have already manifested his death,” Dlakavu warned.

Dr Simamkele Dlakavu posted a series of tweets on ‘X’ demanding for the assassination of Jacob Zuma. However, Dlakavu deleted the tweets, claiming her account was hacked.
Picture: screenshot

However in a statement, Dlakavu claimed her account was hacked and asked for privacy from the ‘X’ users.

“My social media accounts were hacked, and harmful words against president Zuma were expressed. We’ve now successfully accessed, protected the accounts, and deleted the tweets. This experience has had a significant impact on me, and I humbly need privacy during this time,” said Dlakavu.

Speaking to The Star, political commentator, Journalism lecturer at IIE Rosebank College and PhD candidate, Sandile Gumede deemed Dlakavu’s posts as hogwash and attention-seeking threats. Instead, a man of Zuma’s calibre is highly protected with tight security as a former statesman.

“Zuma is one of the most protected individuals as a former statesman. Why would any sane person make threats on social media, especially about someone of Zuma's stature? The Dr is just an attention-seeker. If the threats were serious, they would plot secretly- hire a hitman secretly,” said Gumede.

As Kwazulu-Natal was a hotly contested election ground, the MK Party scooped a handful of votes in Kwazulu-Natal for the provincial legislature, overthrowing the ANC, proposing a new political dawn. Gumede explained that the deaths will fail to create political instability nationally and provincially, especially after the 2021 July lootings, which allegedly took place due to Zuma’s detainment in contempt of court.

“Such posts will cause no harm to Zuma or result in political instability, unless something harmful really happens to him. Zuma is one of the most loved leaders in KZN regardless of his fumbles and narrative that has been peddled by various media houses in South Africa.

“Despite his controversial leadership or decision, to a certain group of people Zuma remains a charismatic leader who speaks to the hearts of many South Africans.This doesn't mean that he is a paragon of virtue, as his leadership is always surrounded by scandals,” said Gumede.

Political analyst, Ongama Mtimka and Gumede cited Dlakavu’s series of tweets as an abuse of free speech, which incites hate speech and infringes on Zuma’s constitutional right to life.

“...This is quite extreme. Normally, such threats would be uttered by people who hide behind parody accounts. If this is really her real account, it is a career-suicide for the Dr. It is an abuse of free speech- no one has a right to say things like this and hide behind free speech,” said Gumede.

Mtimka added, “The comment borders on hate speech and incitement to violence. While it is egregious and ill-advised, it is not a statement made by a person with enough following to constitute a threat. I hope for her sake that it is true that her account was hacked,” said Mtimka.

Attempts to contact the national police’s spokesperson, Athlenda Mathe were unsuccessful after a list of questions were sent to her regarding a legal insight to the matter. This also includes the MK Party’s spokesperson, Nhlamulo Ndhlela’s comment after many attempts to call and text him.

The Star

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