Former president Jacob Zuma will not be attending the State of the Nation address (Sona) as announced by parliament on Wednesday.
Parliament erroneously reported that the former statesman was one of the former presidents who had confirmed attendance for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona on Thursday.
While parliament issued an apology for the error, the Jacob Zuma Foundation issued a statement confirming that Zuma will not attend the Sona, which would have been his first Sona appearance after stepping down from the presidency.
The foundation confirmed receipt of the invitation on February 13. “The former state president will however not be able to attend the Sona due to his health condition.
“We hope and trust that the above will give clarity to the media reports and speculations that arose earlier today,” the foundation said in a statement.
Former ANC national executive committee member Carl Niehaus during a press conference at the Booysens Hotel in Johannesburg said there had been no confirmation that Zuma would attend Sona. He labelled the speculations fake news hellbent on causing suspicion that Zuma was not ill.
He said he had spoken to Zuma’s lawyers who had not confirmed whether the former president would attend the Sona.