Africa & World News

Lawyers say Zuma is not attending Ramaphosa’s SONA

FORMER South African President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers have distanced their client from Parliament’s statement that the ex-head of state will attend the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In a statement on Wednesday the lawyers said Zuma will not make it due to ill-health.

“As President Zuma’s attorneys of record, we have noted the statement attributed to the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, in which it is claimed that President Jacob Zuma will attend the South African State of the Nation Address taking place on the 13th of February 2020. We do not know how and where Parliament obtained this incorrect information,” read the statement.

“Our instructions remain that President Zuma is currently receiving medical treatment in a foreign country, and will therefore, not be attending the SONA,” it added.

This was after the the Jacob Zuma Foundation had also entered the fray and denied that Zuma would make it to the event.

Carl Niehaus had also on Wednesday dismissed claims by Parliament that the former president would attend the SONA on Thursday.

Parliament later said the tweet, confirming Zuma’s appearance at Sona, was issued erroneously. 

Questions were raised after Parliament confirmed in a tweet that Zuma would join other former presidents for the SONA.

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The DA had said if Zuma was fit enough to attend SONA he was also fit enough to attend the trial in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

The court had issued a warrant of arrest, which was stayed until May 6, against Zuma. This was after he had missed his court appearance and the medical certificate, presented by his legal counsel, was questioned by the court.

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