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Zuma discharged from hospital, ordered to rest

President Jacob Zuma has been discharged from hospital on Sunday evening but will rest for a few days, the presidency said.

“The president will continue to rest for a few days and will work mainly from home during the rest period,” Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said in a statement on Sunday.

“We thank the public for the messages of support and good wishes that have been received since the news of the hospitalisation of the president was made public.”

The presidency said that Zuma (72) undergoes two major medical examinations per annum, the first one in January and the second in June.

For these medical examinations, the doctors felt he needed to be hospitalised for a “thorough check up following a demanding schedule”, the presidency said.

Visits booked in advance
“The doctors are happy with the results. Earlier media reports that the president had made certain ‘unscheduled visits’ to Durban hospitals early this year are incorrect,” the presidency said. “All visits are booked in advance and those mentioned were part of the annual first semester check-ups.”

Zuma was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Saturday with instructions to rest following a demanding election and transition to a new administration, the presidency said at the time.

On Friday, the leadership of the ANC ordered Zuma to take a break.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the party’s election campaign was gruelling and Zuma needed a rest. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe echoed similar sentiments at a meeting in Irene on Sunday, saying Zuma was exhausted.

But City Press reported on the same day that Zuma stopped speaking 10 minutes into a speech on Friday complaining of a neck pain, and was expected to be out of action for three to four days due to exhaustion.

Tired ANC leaders
Mantashe joked with journalists on Sunday that several leaders, including himself, were ordered to rest given the gruelling campaign.

Mantashe described sometimes falling asleep on his sofa while watching television “with the face of the president and when you wake up at four in the morning you say it is this man that makes me so tired, and you look at his face on your T-shirt, so it was punishing for everybody”, City Press reported. 

Nkandla was reportedly the number one question put to the party’s leaders by ordinary voters as they hit the campaign trail. 

Zuma had to work overtime to prove to his party that he could still bring in the votes. He attended and addressed at least 60 government functions in the first four months of this year ahead of the May 7 elections, City Press reported on Sunday, and showed signs of great fatigue and strain towards the end of his campaign. By the time his second inauguration rolled around on May 26, he looked lacklustre and at the announcement of his Cabinet, and shortly afterwards barely cracked a joke with journalists as he is known to do. – Additional reporting by Verashni Pillay

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