Zuma ‘made us tired in elections’, says Gwede Mantashe

2014-06-08 14:23

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President Jacob Zuma may have spent last night in hospital, but ANC leaders this morning said they had no idea as to his whereabouts.

Addressing journalists at Luthuli House this afternoon following the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting and lekgotla over the past few days, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe made light of Zuma’s break.

Mantashe said he had already explained on Friday that the ANC “released comrade Zuma to go and relax” because the “punishing elections schedule took its toll, not only on him but on many of us”.

Mantashe said he had also been on a break recently for nine days.

“I was resisting and I didn’t want to go, but I was told to go away and rest because I’m going to collapse. And we did the same thing with President Zuma, and we are doing this with all our officials,” he said.

Mantashe said Zuma used his time off to go for “routine health checks” in hospital.

“I can’t have details of what came out of that. Our information was that he was going to be out late yesterday or today. So we are expecting him out today. But I am not a doctor, you will appreciate that I do not know the intricacies of what goes on with that.”

Mantashe said Zuma should have the “necessary levels of energy” by the time he has to deliver the state of the nation address next week.

Mantashe said his experience of the election was of sometimes falling asleep on the 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.”

ANC spokespeople said they presumed a statement would be issued once Zuma is released from hospital.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj could not immediately be reached for comment and there has been no statement subsequent to the one issued yesterday saying that the president was in hospital for tests.

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