Today, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has been admitted to a hospital in Pretoria. The name of the hospital remains undisclosed for security and protection reasons. Reports confirmed that Zuma was ordered to take some time off from his presidential duties.
The recent election and grueling campaigning have been exhausting for the president. During the campaigning, Zuma worked tirelessly embarking on door-to-door campaigns, attending rallies, interviews, meeting and still attending to government work. The African National Congress (ANC) party, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the president was given time to recover before the cabinet Lekgotla (alekgotlais a meeting called by the government to discuss strategy planning) to be held next week. He confirmed the president was exhausted.
Meanwhile, Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj confirmed Zuma was not ill and admitted to hospital for routine tests and the doctors are satisfied with his condition.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) the official party has sent a message to the president wishing him a speeding recovery. DA parliamentary leader Mmusu Maimanae said his party is waiting for clarity on his condition.
Jacob Zuma was in hospital in March last year for his annual health check up and was not ill according to Mac Maharaj. Apparently, Zuma visited three different hospitals in Kwa-Zulu Natal last year.
This morning Zuma was scheduled to address a National Education, Health and Allied Workers Elective Congress Union meeting, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was sent to address the meeting after Zuma appeared to exhausted. Ramaphosa said Zuma was ordered to go and rest, and he confirmed that Zuma was admitted to a hospital in Pretoria. Ramaphosa did not indicate how long he would be away from official duties. Ramaphosa as deputy will officially replace Zuma while he is gone.
Comments from readers vary from between how surprised they were to hear Zuma had been admitted to wishing him a speedy recovery. There is a substantial amount of speculation among the public on whether he has cancer or if he is suffering from AIDs. The illness causes many to remember the disgrace of his affair with an AIDs sufferer several years ago, which was another of the comments circulating in the papers. Many people refer to Zuma’s admission as a good sign and a strategy for a retirement plan, while others are hoping he does not leave the hospital. The majority of public comments does not favor his recovery and wonder why once again the actions of Jacob Zuma remain a top secret.
It was almost to the year, on June 8, last year, when the media was abuzz with the admission of Nelson Mandela to a Pretoria Clinic with a serious respiratory infection and covered by the media on a daily basis. The secrecy of Zuma’s admission has people speculating and wondering why the government once again cannot be honest and issue a factual statement to the country.
Jacob Zuma is 72 years old, and the current grueling activity during the campaigning months could be an indication of exhaustion. His admission to a hospital for rest, coupled with routine tests, might help the president to cope during the remainder of his presidency.
By Laura Oneale