Jacob Zuma to attend annual chess tournament in KZN despite being ‘ill’

Durban – Amid persistent reports that he is “ill” and getting intensive medical attention on the island of Cuba, former President Jacob Zuma is, in two weeks time, set to make a major public appearance in KZN.  

Zuma is billed to confer the winner’s awards at the 11th edition of the annual JG Zuma chess tournament. The tournament was started by him in 2008 and named after him. 

The day-long tournament would be held in Mandeni on the KZN north coast on December 23. 

According to a poster doing the rounds on social media, entry would be free and chess fanatics are urged to enter. According to the poster, Zuma would take part. The poster reads: "Awards the patron of the JGZF (Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Foundation, H.E (His Excellency) J.G Zuma.”

The chairperson of the foundation, Dudu Myeni, confirmed that the chess tournament was legitimate and the programme would be staged as announced in it.

“Yes, it is (legitimate)… The event will be held as per this poster,” Myeni said briefly when asked whether the poster was legitimate and whether Zuma would grace the event or not.  

Zuma’s much-anticipated appearance comes amid weekend media reports which said his lawyers who are representing him at the state capture commission led by deputy chief justice, Judge Raymond Zondo, told the commission that he was not going to meet its deadline (December, 9, 2019) because he was “ill”. 

The commission wants Zuma to file a responding affidavit to journalist Redi Tlhabi’s application to cross-examine him. 

The request emanates from Zuma’s claim while appearing before the Zondo commission in July this year that Tlhabi was working on a film about his rape trial of 2006 despite that he was acquited after a long public trial. 

He said that Tlhabi’s film titled raped by ‘Raped by Power’ was part of a massive internal and external campaign to discredit him. 

Zuma’s spokesperson, Vukile Mathabela did not respond when asked to confirm or deny that Zuma was not well or seeking medical treatment out of the country. 

Political Bureau

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