LISTEN | Jacob Zuma Foundation threatens legal action, says medical details should remain private

11 August 2021 - 14:10
By Paige Muller
Image: Rogan Ward "The intention is obviously to play to the manufactured consensus of the racist right wing that the serious illness of president Zuma is part of some silly games or so-called 'Stalingrad tactics',' says the Jacob Zuma Foundation

The Jacob Zuma Foundation says it is greatly disturbed by the “callous and insensitive manner” in which the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and certain media outlets have reported on the health concerns of former president Jacob Zuma.

Here is what the foundation had to say: 

In a statement the organisation said it “has accordingly instructed [its] legal team to take all the necessary legal steps to protect the grossly violated right of [former] president Zuma”.

“This will include but not be limited to reporting the culprits to their institutions of accountability and/or initiating the appropriate civil or criminal proceedings.

“It cannot be that private and state agencies, in the pursuit of profit and hatred targeted at an individual, can be allowed to trample upon the most basic human rights of our patron.”

Zuma was expected to appear in court on Tuesday to argue his “special plea” in which he seeks to remove prosecutor Billy Downer and any other official from the NPA from prosecuting the case, accusing them of bias.

However, he was unable to appear due to health concerns.

This news was received sceptically by many South Africans and media houses, who questioned the validity of the health claims.

We spoke to Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi who said the organisation felt Zuma was being mistreated. He spoke about what legal action the foundation planned to take and revealed how Zuma was faring.

Doctors treating Zuma have been given until August 20 to submit a detailed report on his medical condition.

In terms of an order granted by Pietermaritzburg high court judge Piet Koen on Tuesday, a medical practitioner appointed by the state will be given access to Zuma to assess his  fitness to attend court and stand trial on corruption charges linked to the arms deal. Zuma is facing 16 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

The matter was adjourned until September 9 and 10. However, before that date it was agreed Koen would be informed if Zuma was well enough to attend court.

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