Ramaphosa to step in for Zuma

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Cyril Ramaphosa123 INLSA African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng.

Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will stand in for President Jacob Zuma at Epainette Mbeki's funeral and at 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, 14 June,” said spokesman 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 16 June youth celebrations... in the Northern Cape, following the change of the state-of-the-nation address (Sona) date to 17 June,” Maharaj said.

“The president will spend 16 June 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 25-26 June, the dates that were initially scheduled for the Sona debate.”

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

Zuma was discharged from a Pretoria hospital on Sunday after spending a night there.

African National Congress 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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