Police mum on whereabouts man accused for intimidating first lady

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Christine Vermooten

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Christine Vermooten

Authorities yesterday remained mum on the whereabouts of John Steven Masunga, the 29-year-old Tanzanian arrested in Durban after allegedly making threats to expose secrets about first lady Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma.

Masunga was due to appear in the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court on Monday to face a charge of intimidation. He had, however, been admitted to the Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

“All I’m prepared to say is that his case has been postponed to February 3. As for his whereabouts, you need to find out from the police who were guarding him in hospital,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Nathi Mncube said when asked if Masunga was still in hospital.

However, KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker referred The Citizen to the NPA saying “we have handed over the docket to them and they are the one that can respond to your question”.

Prior to his arrest on Saturday, Masunga, who at times goes by the surname Ongolo, had e-mailed several media houses in Durban, telling journalists he had been receiving large amounts of money from Ntuli meant to buy his silence regarding her former bodyguard Phinda Thomo, who reportedly committed suicide in 2009.

In his e-mail, Masunga claimed Thomo was murdered and did not commit suicide as reported.

The Tanzanian also claimed he once had lunch with President Jacob Zuma at his Nkandla homestead.

The State is expected to oppose bail as Masunga was not a South African resident.


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