PRETORIA, Dec 23 — South African President Jacob Zuma has acknowledged that the aftermath of the general election in May took a knock on his health, telling the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in an interview that the determination of the ruling African national Congress (ANC) to ensure the party’s success put his health in jeopardy.
“Yes, after the elections as you know, besides the fact that we work very hard in this government, nobody can deny that the elections meant that we should actually put — if I was going to use the old language — the overdrive, because we really campaigned,” he said Monday.
“We campaigned in every corner of this country … we were there, because we needed to again come to the people and talk to them, and I think because of the work we have been doing, as well as what we did at the time, I think we did overstretch ourselves, and I think there was fatigue thereafter.”
President Zuma arrived in Dar-es-Salaam Sunday night for a one-day working visit to Tanzania, during which he discussed the South Sudan Peace process with his host, President Jakaya Kikwete, on Monday before leaving for Uganda for talks with President Yoweri Museveni on the same subject in Entebbe on Tuesday.
South Africa’s ruling ANC is leading talks aimed at strengthening democracy within South Sudan’s ruling Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM).
A statement from the Presidency here Monday indicated that consultations and discussions between Presidents Zuma and Kikwete are a follow-up to the visit to South Africa recently by President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan.
The statement added that the talks were aimed at taking forward the peace process in South Sudan.
Fighting broke out in South Sudan in December last year, in which the United Nations estimates 10,000 people have been killed and more than 1.2 million others displaced.
Talks between the two warring factions resumed in Ethiopia last week.