Jacob Zuma in hospital for regular check-up, family confirms

16 November 2021 - 11:29
Former president Jacob Zuma is back in hospital. File photo.
Former president Jacob Zuma is back in hospital. File photo.
Image: Lulama Zenzile

Former president Jacob Zuma has been hospitalised, his family said on Tuesday.

“He left [Nkandla] yesterday [Monday] during the day. It is just a regular check-up, it’s not bad,” said Zuma’s brother Khanya.

Zuma’s other brother Joseph said he heard Zuma was in hospital: “I am not home, I am in Durban. When I left, I did not know that he would be following me.

“We are not overly worried because it is just a regular check-up — nothing serious. He goes to the doctor from time to time but he is not sick. Uright mntanami [he is OK, my child].”

Department of correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said he could not confirm that Zuma had been hospitalised.

It is not known what illness Zuma is struggling with.

Zuma was admitted to a military hospital for medical treatment in August, shortly after he began serving his 15-month jail term at the Estcourt Correctional Centre for contempt of court. His undisclosed illness saw him granted medical parole by the department of correctional services.

Khanya said: “He is in a Johannesburg hospital. I was with him yesterday and he told me that he would be leaving Nkandla. We are not sure when he is coming back.”

A source close to Zuma, who did not wish to be named, said: “They drove there and they will be there for the whole week. Although I'm not sure about the seriousness, he is sick. But that man is a survivor, he will pull through.”

The 79-year-old former head of state has been in and out of hospital since 2014. Khanya previously told TimesLIVE that Zuma had been unwell since he was “poisoned” in 2014.

In October, the Sunday Times reported that Zuma was spotted out and about for the first time since he was granted medical parole, at Sibaya Casino in Durban. The Sunday Times received a tip-off that Zuma was meeting close allies there, among them former Luthuli House staffer Carl Niehaus and former SA Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni.

Zuma's visit to the casino raised eyebrows because a day earlier he had told supporters gathered for his welcome-home party that he could not attend the event because of his strict parole conditions. The department of correctional services confirmed at the time that Zuma was granted permission to attend that meeting.

On Tuesday, a source close to the family, who asked not to be named, told TimesLIVE: “That man is ill. It’s just that you guys think he is joking.”

The Jacob Zuma Foundation’s Mzwanele Manyi said: “Why is it an issue? Where is [President Cyril] Ramaphosa? Why are you not writing about him [Ramaphosa]? Let the old man rest.” 

TimesLIVE


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