[file] Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on April 6, 2018, during for a brief preliminary hearing on corruption charges linked to a multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal./ AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nic BOTHMA
Agence France-Presse


Lawyers for South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma have dismissed reports that he will be in parliament on Thursday for his successor Cyril Ramaphosa’s annual state of the nation address, saying he is still receiving medical treatment abroad.

A tweet posted earlier on the official Twitter account of parliament said Mr Zuma would attend the event, along with his two predecessors – Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki.

The tweet – which parliament later retracted – caused a stir because Mr Zuma had failed to appear in court on corruption charges last week, with his lawyer producing a sick note to explain his absence.

However, the judge questioned the credibility of the note and issued an arrest warrant, to be executed if Mr Zuma failed to appear in court during his next appearance in May.


In a statement, the law firm representing Zuma said parliament had put out “incorrect information”.

“Our instructions remain that Zuma is currently receiving treatment in a foreign country,” it added, without naming the country.

A senior official from the governing African National Congress (ANC) was earlier quoted by the national broadcaster SABC as saying Zuma was sick and recovering at home.

Parliament said its tweet on Mr Zuma’s attendance was “premature”, and it regretted the error.

Zuma has been charged with corruption over a multi-million dollar arms negotiated about 20 years ago.

He denied any wrongdoing, saying the charges are political.


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