South Africa: No Way to Witness the Sickness - the Mystery of Jacob Zuma's Health

Former president Jacob Zuma.
analysis

When former president Jacob Zuma failed to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday for a pre-trial discussion regarding his corruption case, his lawyers' claims that Zuma was seriously ill fell on sceptical ears. A mysterious sick note produced to this effect failed to convince Judge Dhaya Pillay, who issued a warrant of arrest stayed until 6 May 2020. Where in the world is Jacob Zuma -- and what exactly is wrong with him?

"I heard some people saying he was spotted at the chess tournament but he is so weak that he couldn't even play. Why didn't you ask me how I feel? Why write something without asking me? What's wrong? Because I have all my strength. I'm perfectly fine."

Those were the words of former president Jacob Zuma on 27 December 2019, captured on camera by eNCA addressing supporters in isiZulu near his home of Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

On 29 December 2019, Zuma would post a "Happy Holidays" message on his Twitter account showing him grooving along with the Umlazi Gospel Choir.

Some six weeks later, however, Zuma is now said to be so ill that a form produced by his lawyers has him booked off sick from...

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