Zuma steps out of public eye

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President Jacob Zuma announces the new cabinet. Picture: Elmond Jiyane

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma would take a few days of rest, the presidency said on Friday.

“President Jacob Zuma will take a few days off from public engagements while continuing to perform official duties from home,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

“The president is in need of a rest following a demanding election and transition programme to the new administration.”

Zuma would still officiate at the swearing-in ceremony for newly-appointed Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi on Friday evening.

Earlier, the African National Congress said in a statement its leadership had decided Zuma should take a break.

Secretary general Gwede Mantashe later told reporters at the ANC's lekgotla in Irene, outside Pretoria, Zuma was being given time off to recover from a gruelling election programme.

“The president is exhausted. The election was punishing,” he said.

Zuma was given time to recover before he held a Cabinet lekgotla next week.

“He is given time to relax. He is having a Cabinet lekgotla next week, we want him to be relaxed and focused.”

Mantashe said following an election victory, the ANC was expecting ministers to be available to address residents' concerns.

“We want ministers to be on the go and attend to issues. They must be there... to address concerns.”

He said the ANC secured victory in the election against difficult odds.

“We won against odds. We moved against the storm. The decline of 3.7 percent is huge. The lekgotla will look into how there was a decline.”

Mantashe said the ANC was the preferred party in rural areas and also won the majority of votes in areas where there were protests going into the election.

“Opposition parties are targeting centres of key economic activities,” he said.

Sapa


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