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Zuma in Russia to 'rest'

Questions are being raised about the real purpose of Jacob Zuma's trip to Russia.

FILE. President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Questions are being asked this morning about the real purpose of President Jacob Zuma's trip to Russia.

Despite the Presidency saying Zuma is on a working visit, it appears very few meetings have been scheduled and officials say he is using part of the visit for "rest and relaxation".

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Sej Motau says this visit is curious, considering a possible deal with Russia over a nuclear power programme.

But he is careful when asked directly if the president's health may be the main reason for this trip.

"Well, I suspect that there might be, but we would rather have the answers from his office than speculate."

Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota also wants answers.

"Can it be that when he tells us that he is absolutely healthy and there's absolutely nothing wrong with him? And then they come and tell us he went there to rest?"

Meanwhile, the Presidency says its stands by its original statement that Zuma is in Russia for meetings and will use some of the trip to rest.