KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has returned to the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg, a few hours after collapsing during his SOPA. Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has returned to the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg, a few hours after collapsing during his State of the Province Address (SOPA). 

Mchunu said he had been taken to Grey's hospital. Tests were conducted and nothing abnormal was found. Doctors had cleared him to return to the venue where he had lunch with other MPLs.

KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress (ANC) chairperson Sihle Zikalala had to take over the presentation of the SOPA after Mchunu collapsed.

It is believed that Mchunu experienced unexpected shortness of breath while delivering the speech.

Mchunu told the media on Wednesday that he had a blackout while delivering his SOPA. He said he is looking forward to the next 72 days before the next elections. Mchunu said he would attend Thursday's debate on his State of the Province Address after doctors had given him a clean bill of health. 

"All I needed was some fresh air and a bit of water. I started to feel better before I got to the hospital," he said.

"I have been through detention and other traumatising things. For me, work has been demanding but I am able to do it."

"I am looking forward to retiring but there is no real retirement from politics. Working politically amongst people at your own pace is different from the day to day demands of the political office."

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Political Bureau