PIC | Here is Zuma's sick note for skipping court appearance

Former president Jacob Zuma. (File photo: Michele Spatari, Pool, AFP)
Former president Jacob Zuma. (File photo: Michele Spatari, Pool, AFP)

A sick note handed to Judge Dhaya Pillay during a sitting for former president Jacob Zuma's corruption trial in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court has emerged as the primary point of contention which led to a warrant of arrest being issued for him.

During proceedings on Tuesday, the former head of state's lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, attempted to convince Judge Pillay that the note, a sparse, ambiguous document, could justify Zuma's non-attendance in court.

"There is no reason to doubt the document with an original stamp, unless there is evidence for my lady to disregard it," he said.


Mantsha added Zuma's health was a "matter of national security".

"The doctor in charge of the former president is attached to the military. It is absurd for the State to doubt the admissibility of a medical note stamped by our own military official."

The note has since been circulated on various social media platforms.

JZ sick note
A sick note was handed to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court from former president Jacob Zuma's legal team requesting absence from court due to ill health. (Supplied)

However, Judge Pillay questioned key aspects of the note:

- The first was a seeming alteration to the date of January 6 on the document. "There is an alteration to the date in this document but there is no signature near it," Judge Pillay said.

- The second was the fact that there was no reference to Zuma's military physician's practice number. "There is a number here, but it is not labelled as a practice number at any point."

- Third, the term "layman's diagnosis with consent from the patient" - this was a phrase that Mantsha could not explain. "What does this mean?" Judge Pillay asked.

- Her final note was that Zuma's medical condition was not described in the letter, merely only saying "medical condition". "This tells us very little," Judge Pillay said.

Jacob Zuma sick note

Senior state advocate Billy Downer said he had tried to acquire medical information regarding Zuma's sickness before Tuesday's sitting.

"My lady, why are we swimming through mud now? Since January, we have asked for medical evidence and we received no responses from Mr Zuma's team," he told the court.

Judge Pillay acceded to the State's request for an arrest warrant to be issued.

The warrant was stayed until May 6 - Zuma's next court appearance - which means it will not come into effect unless the former president skips that appearance too or does not give an adequate account for why he cannot appear in court.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 716 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 8429 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1005 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.