Former president Jacob Zuma was hospitalised for a whole week when the Pietermaritzburg High Court turned down his application to appeal a judgment that found him guilty of defaming former minister Derek Hanekom. The Jacob Zuma Foundation on Friday confirmed that embattled Zuma had been admitted at a Durban hospital for an unknown ailment.
Earlier last month Zuma suffered another defeat when Judges Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, Bhekisisa Mnguni and Esther Steyn dismissed the application in which he and his co-accused France arms manufacturer Thales were seeking leave to appeal a high court ruling against application for the permanent stay of prosecution for the arms deal fraud and corruption charges.
The foundation said it was unknown what Zuma was suffering from, and asked for him to be given space to recoup. The foundation also said the public would be advised at a later stage as to when would Zuma be able to appear before the commission. Zuma was only discharged on Thursday, the day Judge Dhaya Pillay turned down his application in the Hanekom matter.
When the litigation case was heard in the Durban High Court, Pillay had found Zuma guilty of defamation by posting on his Twitter account that Hanekom “was known enemy agent”.
Zuma had made the statement in response to EFF leader Julius Malema’s statement that alleged that Hanekom had collaborated with opposition parties in getting Zuma removed as state president through a vote of no confidence. Instead of Zuma complying with the previous judgment by removing the tweet, he kept it and appealed the ruling.
Zuma had been due to appear before the commission next week, but commission spokesperson Mbuyiselo Stemela told the media that Zuma’s legal team had revealed that he was unable to attend due to illness.
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