President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters


Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has proclaimed himself healthy and has scoffed at reports that he suffers from an assortment of ailments.

Speaking for the first time since he was forced to take leave and go to hospital for tests, Zuma boasted that he was in good health and would be the envy of young people.

The president was interviewed by ANC TV channel, My ANC, and the clip was posted on YouTube.

“It was clear after we had gone through elections that I was exhausted and quickly the doctors took a very good decision that I should take it easy,” said Zuma.

“That’s what I have done. Taking it easy, taking a short rest, because at the moment I have not been able to take a holiday. It has helped, to a degree.”

He said reports about his health, which included claims that his health issues included diabetes and problems with his heart, were not true.

“I know that people were speculating. I read in the newspapers that how sick I am and what are the diseases that are in me (sic). I was shocked and thought it was another Jacob Zuma, not this one.

“So, there is no problem. I am as healthy as anything. In fact, my doctors have been saying the young people ‘are going to envy you if they know how healthy you are’. I am healthy and I am working.”

A few weeks ago, Zuma was forced to quit an ANC national executive committee meeting because he was feeling unwell.

The president went into hospital a few days later, and was kept overnight for tests.

He was away from his office for 10 days, returning to work on June 17 to deliver his State of the Nation address, before flying to Equatorial Guinea for a meeting of the African Union.

Weekend Argus