Tue, 21 Jan 2020

Spotted on a plane, and with a full contingent of VIP protection at his house, all indications are that former president Jacob Zuma is back in South Africa, a day after he missed the deadline to make submissions to the Zondo commission.

On Sunday, weekly newspaper Sunday World reported Zuma was in Cuba seeking treatment for an illness linked to an alleged poison plot from 2014. He also, apparently, struggles with memory loss.

The National Prosecuting Authority, however, in September declined to investigate claims of him being poisoned, saying there was no evidence such an act had taken place.

ANC wishes Zuma well if reports of him taking ill were 'to be true'

Since handing over the reins of the ANC to Cyril Ramaphosa in December 2017, Zuma often attended ANC NEC meetings in his capacity as former president of the party. However, he was not at this past weekend's meeting in Benoni.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe told journalists on the sidelines of the meeting on Sunday the party had no knowledge of the news.

"Well, like yourselves, we've seen media reports that suggest the health of the former president of the ANC might be ailing. If that was to be true, we, of course, wish him well and a speedy recovery," Mabe said, according to News24.

On Monday, TimesLive reported Zuma's legal team had informed the commission Zuma could not meet the deadline to respond to the state capture inquiry, which was set for Monday, because he was in hospital in another country.

He had to respond to journalist Redi Tlhabi's application to cross-examine him.

The former president named Tlhabi as part of a group which conspired to taint his name when he testified in July. Last month, Zuma also missed a scheduled appearance at the commission, claiming he was sick.

On Monday evening and Tuesday morning, photos emerged of Zuma, neatly dressed in a suit and blue tie, on an aeroplane.

On Tuesday, a heavy VIP protection presence was spotted outside his home in Forest Town, a Johannesburg suburb not far from Saxonwold.

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