Rumours that jailed former president Jacob Zuma, who recently underwent a surgical procedure for an undisclosed illness, is refusing being examined by the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) doctors, remain just that, for now.
JG Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwwanele Manyi told The Citizen on Tuesday afternoon that reports of Zuma’s refusal to be examined by NPA-appointed doctors were “premature”.
“If the NPA issued a statement saying they were not happy with the [medical] report submitted [by Zuma’s legal team, then we are talking,” Manyi said.
He branded reporting by News24 earlier on Tuesday that Zuma had refused examination by the doctors “misleading”.
“We have not crossed that bridge. Saying refusal is way too premature. We have not gotten to the state where that attitude has been expressed.”
Manyi told News24 the state was “second guessing” the submitted report, and that the NPA should say if they feel the military doctors observing Zuma were being “dishonest”. He said this was only taking place because Zuma’s name was on the line.
Brigadier-General Dr Mcebisi Zukile Mdutywa is Zuma’s lead doctor.
The report was filed by Zuma’s doctors on the 79-year-old’s fitness to stand trial for corruption on 27 August. The embattled former president’s team missed the NPA’s deadline by seven days.
The nature of Zuma’s mysterious illness and subsequent surgical procedure, has yet to be made public, but was confirmed by the Department of Correctional Services.
The JG Zuma Foundation slammed Zuma’s health status being in the public eye, and said the NPA were “callous and insensitive” in handling the details of Zuma’s medical status. They said the documents detailing that Zuma had suffered a “traumatic injury” in November last year should never have been made public.
The corruption trial involving Zuma and French arms company Thales is set to resume on 9-10 September, after it was postponed by Koen due to the former president being in hospital.
During the proceedings, Koen directed that a medical report – as well as Zuma’s doctors testifying in court – would be required when the case resumes.
Koen also indicated that the state was allowed to appoint a doctor to examine Zuma and ascertain his fitness to stand trial.
NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the NPA would not be commenting on the matter until it is heard in court.