The African National Congress (ANC) says it cannot confirm whether former President Jacob Zuma is unwell and receiving treatment overseas.
This follows some reports that Zuma is in Cuba receiving treatment at a secret hospital.
Reports of Zuma being unwell have been met with skepticism in some quarters with speculation he may be trying to avoid a looming corruption trial.
Speaking to journalists on the side-lines of the National Executive Committee(NEC) meeting, ANC National spokesperson, Pule Mabe only confirmed that Zuma was not present.
“We have seen media reports that suggest that the former president of ANC’s health might be ailing. If that was to be true, we of course wish him well and for him to have a speedy recovery. We do not have any further details; except what we saw in the press.”
Last month, Zuma suffered yet another legal blow, this after the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed his application for leave to appeal its decision not to stay his prosecution with costs.
The case relates to the controversial arms deal of the 1990’s.
The court proceedings were an attempt by the former statesman to get corruption charges dropped, Zuma had argued lengthy and unfair delays, pre-trial irregularities and political interference.
WATCH | Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial postponed to 4 February 2020
However, when the full bench ruled against him, it found that the seriousness of Zuma’s offences outweighed any prejudice he claimed he would have suffered if the trial proceeded.
Zuma faces charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and racketeering related to the arms deal.
In his appeal application, Zuma argued that the court had made gross errors in fact and law when they dismissed his application for a permanent stay and that the court had to take into consideration his constitutional rights.
His defence team further stated that it believed that the Supreme Court of Appeal would find it differently.
Zuma’s co-accused Thales said it too would be successful in a higher court, but also intends to petition the Constitutional Court directly. Thales wants the court to grant a review of the decision by the NPA in 2017, to reinstitute charges against it.
The state objected to both applications.
A spokesperson for the former president said his legal team would study the latest judgement before deciding on a way forward.
Pre-trial proceedings were earlier postponed to the 4th of February.