‘This is the third time I’m not believed’: Zuma snubs NPA medical exam
The former president’s foundation says the NPA is questioning the credibility of military doctors who have examined him
Former president Jacob Zuma has refused to allow NPA doctors to examine him, his foundation said, accusing the state of “second-guessing” his health.
The Pietermaritzburg high court previously ordered that a medical practitioner appointed by the state be allowed access to Zuma to assess his fitness to attend court and stand trial on corruption charges linked to the arms deal.
The former president is facing 16 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.
On Tuesday, Jacob G Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi questioned why the state wasn’t relying on the report by military doctors, which was submitted to the court last week.
“President Zuma is in a situation where he is not trusted when he says he is not well ... It’s an overreach. Why would NPA want to second-guess the military hospital? Why would they want to insult the ethics and the professionalism of those doctors? Why are they, by implication, saying this report is dishonest?” Manyi asked.
He accused the state of having a history of disbelief when it came to Zuma’s health.
“The whole thing started with the Pietermaritzburg high court, where judge [Dhaya] Pillay was so unbelieving of a sick note that was given there ... that she ordered a warrant of arrest for the next court appearance,” he said, referring to a February 2020 incident, in which the judge questioned the sick note provided by the former president’s legal team.
Zuma’s medical team filed a confidential medical report last week, after missing the August 20 deadline. Manyi said there was a legitimate reason for the delay.Mzwanele Manyi
Manyi said: “An infrastructure of mistrust is created where, if the report is given... to say there must be another second opinion. President Zuma’s approach is that ‘this is the third time now where I’m not believed’," said Manyi.
Zuma’s medical team filed a confidential medical report last week, after missing the August 20 deadline. Manyi said there was a legitimate reason for the delay.
“The commitment that was made by the doctors to submit by the 20th could not be met because they did not foresee that they had to put him through [a] medical procedure,” he said.
Asked if the former president was recovering well, Manyi said the foundation was not in a position to respond.
“A layperson can see him walking up and down and make a particular conclusion. A doctor can make a different conclusion, based on a medical assessment. It’s safer to say [that] we need a medical pronouncement to be able to move forward.
“President Zuma is alive, he is breathing, he is walking and talking. As to whether that means he is well, that is the matter for the medical practitioners,” said Manyi.
Zuma is at a military hospital outside the Estcourt prison, where he is serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court order that he testify before the state capture inquiry.
NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said: “We are not commenting on this matter until it is heard in court.”