News / Africa

South Africa Denies Zuma Health Rumors

FILE - South African President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, June 17, 2014.
FILE - South African President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, June 17, 2014.
Peter Clottey
The spokesman for South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has dismissed reports the country’s leader is in poor health, following his recent visit to the hospital.

President Zuma spent two days in a hospital after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party said it gave the leader a break following a “hectic campaigning” period before the May 7 general election.

Mac Maharaj insists Zuma is in good health and has been working hard and long hours at the office.

His comments followed a local newspaper report, which cited sources from the ANC suggesting Zuma is suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems.  Maharaj rejected the newspaper report as rumor mongering.

“The doctors attending to the president are satisfied, there is no reason or cause to be concerned about his health,” said Maharaj.  “He is fine he is back fully on duty, at the same time we would like to state clearly that we do not engage in gossip and rumors around his health.”

Some analysts have demanded assurances from the presidency arguing the president appeared to have lost weight after he was recently hospitalized.

But Maharaj disagreed, saying the administration has been forthright with South Africans about Zuma’s health conditions.

“When the president needed rest we said so publicly, the doctors confirmed it to us.  Then the doctors carried out tests, made it a major examination, he was kept in hospital for 24 hours for thorough check up, and they discharged him satisfied with the results, and he is now back with his public engagements, as well as his office work.”

"Tiredness is something that affects everybody,” Maharaj said.  “The president is working extraordinarily long and hard hours.”

But some opponents have demanded the presidency provide proof of Zuma’s good health, by making it public.  Again, Maharaj dismissed the demand as without merit.

“Why do we have to prove rumors and gossips to be unfounded?  If we were to spend our time engaging in rumors and gossip, we will spend all our lives just repudiating rumors, and then having to prove, whereas the gossip does not require to be proved,” Maharaj said.

Supporters of the ANC say the newspaper report is politically motivated to speculate that President Zuma is unlikely to serve his second full term in office due to poor health.  But opponents contend the president’s reported poor health conditions should be of concern to all South Africans.

“I don’t want to engage with the gossip and rumor mongering around the president’s health.  I do not want to give them credibility,” said Maharaj.
Clottey interview with Mac Maharaj, President Zuma's spokesman
Clottey interview with Mac Maharaj, President Zuma's spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: walter from: cape town
June 22, 2014 12:41 PM
maybe we are lucky after all ,,, come guys keep the finger cross ,,this JZ is at the end,,, let make space for "your Honor Jiulius "
so he can continuing the uncivilized distraction of his Brother JZ...
yes.. because they are all made with the same stamp,,, don't you see? they all look like to me!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid