Zuma will not be attending Sona, Parliament apologises for gaffe

Former president Jacob Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Former president Jacob Zuma will not be attending the State of the Nation Address despite Parliament earlier stating that he would.

This is according to his law firm, Lungisani Mantsha Attorney, who on Wednesday said Parliament was incorrect to state that Zuma would be attending.

The Parliament social media account blundered on the eve of the Sona on Wednesday by confirming and later retracting that Zuma would be one of the three former heads of state that will be attending the speech by President Cyril Ramaphosa tomorrow.

Zuma's law firm said they did not know how Parliament came to the conclusion that the former president would attend Sona.

In a short statement, Lungisani Mantsha Attorneys said as far as they were concerned, Zuma was still receiving medical treatment abroad.

"We do not know how and where Parliament obtained this incorrect information. Our instructions remain that President Zuma is currently receiving medical treatment in a foreign country, and will therefore, not be attending the Sona," the law firm said.

Parliament had earlier announced via its official Twitter account that Zuma who last week failed to appear at court for his pre-trial citing ill health had confirmed his attendance.

The announcement caused a lot hullabaloo especially on social media with people asking if he was all of a sudden in good health.

Zuma last week failed to appear at court for his pre-trial citing ill health and his lawyers presented an altered sick note which appeared to show that he was booked off until end of April.

The legislative body of government has now backtracked citing the announcement was made prematurely and erroneously as they had no confirmation that Zuma would attend.

“In confirming list of former Presidents who have confirmed attendance of #SONA, an earlier tweet erroneously included Former President Jacob Zuma. The confirmation was premature; an accurate update will be given later today. The error is regretted,” Parliament said.

This would have been Zuma’s first Sona attendance since he stepped down as the President in February last year.

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