African National Congress (ANC) deputy Secretary General (SG) Jessie Duarte has called for an end in the comparison being made between the medical parole granted to former president Jacob Zuma on Sunday with that of his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik from years before.
While briefing the media on Tuesday on the outcomes of the three day special national executive committee (NEC) Lekgotla which ended on Monday, Duarte agreed that granting Shaik medical parole may have been wrong but said it cannot be assumed that Zuma is not ill and requires medical attention.
Shaik had been granted medical parole on the basis that his medical condition had worsened, however, soon after his release he was spotted playing golf and seemingly in good health.
Duarte pointed out that negative narratives about the former president will persist regardless of what is true, adding that the ANC is happy that he has been granted medical parole and will get the treatment he requires.
The SG said the ANC will will not buy into the narrative that Zuma was granted special treatment because he is a prominent political figure.
“If somebody is ill, somebody is ill,” Duarte said, and recalled how distasteful it was when the late minister of health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s medical condition was politicized, adding that the same should not be done now with Zuma.
Duarte said the ANC welcomes the decision to grant Zuma medical parole and that the party is praying for his speedy recovery.
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