JOHANNESBURG – South African President Jacob Zuma is missing a three-day Cabinet meeting this week while resting after hospital tests, leaving his deputy to handle some of his official duties in the days ahead.
Officials have revealed few details about 72-year-old Zuma's condition, saying only that he is recovering from a demanding work schedule and that doctors are satisfied with the results of their examinations.
"He must maximize the time he has to rest," the South African Press Association quoted presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj as saying on Tuesday. Zuma is working from home and there is no time limit on his rest period, according to Maharaj. The president's office previously said he was discharged from a hospital on Sunday after a weekend checkup.
Last month, Zuma was inaugurated for a second five-year presidential term following the election victory of the ruling African National Congress party, which has dominated politics since the end of white rule in 1994. Officials have cited the tough election period as well as the demands of shaping a new administration as reasons for Zuma to take a break.
Zuma will not deliver a planned speech on Monday, a national holiday that honors youth and falls on the anniversary of the start of a student-led uprising against the apartheid government on June 16, 1976, SAPA reported. Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, will stand in for Zuma at the event in Kimberley, a town in central South Africa.
Ramaphosa was also presiding over a Cabinet meeting this week in Pretoria, the capital.