Jacob Zuma Tax

Photo: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

‘This is a genuine situation’ – Zuma spokesperson on his health

Mzwanele Manyi says former president Jacob Zuma was hospitalised on Monday afternoon and underwent tests after his health deteriorated

Jacob Zuma Tax

Photo: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

Spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation Mzwanele Manyi says the former president is “genuinely” ill, contrary to some of the speculation.

Zuma was expected to appear before the High Court in Pietermaritzburg for the start of his arms deal trial, but Manyi soon revealed that he wouldn’t be able to make it due to health having apparently deteriorated.

It wasn’t long before some of his critics accused him of faking his illness and once again finding a way to avoid going to trial. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had previously said Zuma is resorting to delaying tactics and wasting the court’s time.

At the court proceedings, Zuma’s legal representative, Advocate Dali Mpofu managed to successfully argue for a postponement of the trial pending the outcome of their reconsideration application before Supreme Court of Appeal judge president Mandisa Maya. The application relates to the SCA’s initial decision to dismiss a special plea to have Billy Downer – the state prosecutor – removed from his case.


Manyi told eNCA on Monday evening that Jacob Zuma was admitted to an undisclosed hospital – and that doctors were conducting a range of tests to determine the nature of his ailments.

“In the afternoon today while we were still in court, we got a report from the medical team that H.E President Zuma has been admitted for all kinds of tests. So doctors are running all kinds of tests on him”

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi

Manyi adds that Zuma’s doctors also managed to issue medical certificates for his lawyers, which they then showed to the presiding judge Piet Koen.

“This is a genuine situation at hand… As we speak, doctors, if they have received the results, they are probably analysing. There is still no certainty as to what exactly is wrong with him,” he told the broadcaster.

Judge Koen postponed the proceedings to 17 May 2022.

Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money-laundering related to the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal in the late 1990s. The former president is alleged to have received 783 suspicious payments to the tune of R1.2 million from Thales, through his disgraced former financial advisor Shabir Shaik. Zuma has denied the allegations and claims they are politically motivated.