ANC dismisses rumours about Zuma's health

Gwede Mantashe says the ANC has forced the president to rest ahead of his Sona.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says he won’t indulge in rumours about the president’s health. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says he won't indulge in rumours about President Jacob Zuma's health.

Zuma was admitted to hospital at the weekend for what the ANC says were routine tests.

He has been taking time off from his official duties and cancelled several public appearances.

Mantashe says the president is just fatigued and needs rest after a gruelling election campaign.

He says ANC leaders have gruelling schedules.

Mantashe further states the ANC has forced the president to rest so that he can be ready for Tuesday's State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament.

Meanwhile, veteran journalist and author Max du Preez says the president's illness is a possible indication he won't serve his full five-year term.

He says the president is missing a number of important functions including the funeral of former President Thabo Mbeki's mother Epainette in the Eastern Cape this weekend.

"Cyril Ramaphosa is suddenly the frontman. He is residing at the funeral of Ma-Mbeki, he is residing at the Cabinet lekgotla," Du Preez says. "I suspect this is the beginning of a strong argument and I certainly don't think that the analysis that he was stronger after the election is valid anymore," he continues.