Ramaphosa stands in for Zuma at events


President Jacob Zuma has requested that ​Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa replace him at Epainette Mbeki's funeral and the June 16 celebrations.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will stand in for President Jacob Zuma at Epainette Mbeki's funeral and some other events. (Gallo)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will stand in for President Jacob Zuma at Epainette Mbeki’s funeral and some other events, the presidency said on Wednesday.

“ ... Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy at the funeral of Epainette Mbeki, mother of former president Thabo Mbeki, in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape on Saturday June 14,” said spokesperson Mac Maharaj. Ramaphosa would be accompanied by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe. 

On Tuesday, the presidency informed media that Zuma would also not be delivering the main address at the national youth day celebration in Kimberley on June 16, as earlier diarised. 

“He must maximise the time he has to rest,” Maharaj said on Tuesday. 

“President Jacob Zuma has requested ... Ramaphosa to replace him in officiating at the June 16 Youth [Day] celebrations ... in the Northern Cape, following the change of the State of the Nation Address [Sona] date to June 17,” Maharaj said. 

“The president will spend June 16 working on the Sona. He requested Parliament to bring forward the Sona date ... to enable him to attend the African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea on 25 to 26 June, the dates that were initially scheduled for the Sona debate.” 

The Sona debate had been rescheduled to June 18 and 19. 

Routine health check
Zuma was discharged from a Pretoria hospital on Sunday after spending a night there. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said at the weekend that Zuma (72) went for a routine health check. 

Mantashe said the ANC’s election campaign had been punishing and all senior members of the party would take time off one after another to “re-energise”. Maharaj on Tuesday said Zuma was still resting and no time limit had been set on how long he would be on break. 

“The doctors did extensive tests and are satisfied with the results. He’s back home and he’s working,” he said at the time. Zuma was also not attending a three-day Cabinet lekgotla in Pretoria he was initially scheduled to lead from Tuesday. The event was being chaired by Ramaphosa. – Sapa

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