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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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!!!

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora