NPA confirms that Zuma doctors have filed confidential medical report

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Former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Gallo Images/Beeld/Deaan Vivier

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that Jacob Zuma’s military doctors have filed a report on his fitness to stand trial.

"I can confirm that Mr Zuma's legal team has filed a medical report that relates to his state of health," NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

READ | SANDF medical boss: Zuma's life is at 'significant risk', will take 6 months to treat

"It is a confidential document and we will make no further comments until the matter is heard in court."

The report was handed in a week after the deadline given by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Zuma's advocate Dali Mpofu previously stated during the previous virtual hearing of Zuma's corruption case that it would only be after the former president's doctors had compiled their report on his health that his lawyers would make a decision on whether to seek a longer postponement of his trial.

If such a postponement is sought, Zuma's doctors – as well as the doctors appointed by the State to examine the former President – will be expected to testify and be cross-examined. 

READ | Jacob Zuma used as a 'scapegoat' for unrest - Zizi Kodwa

The former president was hospitalised over two weeks ago while serving a 15-month jail term for defying a Constitutional Court ruling that he appear before the State Capture Inquiry.

The apex court has yet to rule on Zuma's application for a rescission of that judgment, after asking the parties in the case to make submissions on the implications of international law on its majority decision to jail him. 

The department of correctional services recently confirmed that Zuma "... underwent a surgical procedure on Saturday, 14 August 2021, with other procedures scheduled for the coming days". As a result, it said, it was "... unable to predict a discharge date as our priority at this stage is for Mr Zuma to be afforded the best care possible. 

"As inmates are placed in correctional centres involuntarily, the State has a total and inescapable responsibility and duty to care for them in a manner that does not violate or compromise their constitutional rights, which include access to health care," spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo added. 

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