South Africa president in 'perfect condition' after health scare

South Africa president in 'perfect condition' after health scare

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma on Sunday declared that he was in "perfect condition", in his first comments allaying concerns over his health following his hospitalisation in June.

Zuma told the public broadcaster SABC television in a year-end interview that the elections earlier in the year had taken a toll on him after he went into "overdrive".

"We did overstretch ourselves, and I think there was fatigue thereafter," he said in the interview broadcast Sunday night.

"Indeed there was a period where I really took it easy. I couldn't say my health was in its perfect condition...(but) I'm in perfect condition now."

Due to the exhaustion the 72-year old was forced at one time in June to hand more duties to his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.

The president who has visibly lost weight in recent months, also dismissed public sentiments that he might be lining up Ramaphosa to take over as he appears to be delegating him more tasks than normal.

There is "no hidden agenda," he said. "The deputy president has the energy, has everything that it takes that you can... delegate without any worry," he said.

Zuma last week assigned Ramaphosa to oversee the running of three troubled state companies, including the energy provider Eskom following weeks of rolling electricity blackouts that have cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars.

Power shortage is regularly cited as one of the weaknesses hampering South Africa's growth.

Africa's second biggest economy is expected to expand by just 1.4 per cent this year.

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