Govt: President Zuma to rest

Govt says Zuma is taking time off from public engagements following demanding elections.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Government says President Jacob Zuma is taking time off from public engagements following the demanding election period.

At the same time, the African National Congress (ANC) says Zuma has left its national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla in Irene.

He was meant to attend the meeting aimed at discussing future government policy, but the ruling party says its leadership asked Zuma to take some time off because of the stress of the intense election campaign.

The party says he greeted the NEC members at the lekgotla and gave a brief political overview before leaving.

In a statement released by the Presidency a short while ago, spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Zuma would continue to perform his official duties from home.

"The president is in need of a rest following a demanding election and transition programme to the new administration," he said.

No information has been given about what symptoms of exhaustion Zuma may be experiencing.

Earlier this year, the Sunday Times claimed Zuma's family were considering asking him to step down halfway through his second term.

The newspaper suggested the family was taking strain due to the president's work commitments.