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Presidency denies Zuma 'sneaked' into Swaziland

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.
Image: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Did President Jacob Zuma jet off to Swaziland on Thursday night‚ as speculation about his future continues to swirl?

Zuma’s spokesman has rubbished the claim‚ made in a tweet by @Pasco_e.

Posted at 6.34pm on Thursday and containing two pics of Zuma shaking hands with officials while a military plane is parked in the background‚ the tweet reads: “Like a night-running tokoloshe‚ Jacob Zuma snuck into Swaziland last night. The chaps @PresidencyZA posted these pics then quickly deleted them when we started asking questions. We still want to know what he's doing there.”

The publication sent the tweet and pictures to Presidency spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga on Friday morning‚ asking to verify its contents.

He replied on WhatsApp: “This appears to be an old picture. In any event‚ he did not visit Swaziland. That was two years or so ago‚ I think.”

According to The Presidency‚ Zuma visited Swaziland in June 2017 and in August the year before to attend an SADC summit.

In a more formal response‚ Ngqulunga said: “The rumours that President Zuma visited Swaziland yesterday‚ 8 February 2018‚ are not true. The President has not gone out of the country since the AU summit [in Ethiopia in January].”

By 9.15am on Friday the tweet had 127 retweets‚ 90 likes and 33 comments.

From being asked to resign and clashes outside Luthuli House to postponement after postponement, it has been a turbulent week for President Jacob Zuma.

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