JOHANNESBURG, Jun 10 – South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, who spent time in hospital over the weekend suffering from exhaustion, will miss his new government’s first meeting from Tuesday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
“President Zuma will miss the cabinet meeting and continue to rest at home this week,” said Ramaphosa, who is standing in for Zuma during his recuperation.
Zuma left hospital late Sunday, the day after he was admitted for routine tests.
The 72-year-old leader checked into hospital on Saturday after officials from his party had asked him on Friday to take a break because “the punishing election programme was taking its toll, not on him only, (but) on many of us,” African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe had said earlier.
Zuma was sworn in for a second term two weeks ago after his ANC party won the May 7 elections with an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote.
His office said the president has two “major” routine medical examinations each year — in January and in June.
“This time round, the doctors felt he needed to be hospitalised for a thorough check up following a demanding schedule,” said the presidency.
Earlier Bongi Ngema-Zuma, one of the president’s four wives, had told reporters that he was “doing very well” and “just needed time to rest”.
Zuma’s office said he had already met with all his new ministers and deputy ministers in May to go over the policy priorities and his expectations of them.
The cabinet talks will continue through Thursday.