In an unprecedented show of events the former president Jacob Zuma snubbed the inauguration of his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, which took place on 25th of May 2019 in Pretoria.
Zuma was among the former presidents, which include Thabo Mbeki, FW De Klerk and Kgalema Motlanthe, who were due to grace the event.
The official programme for the day had Zuma scheduled to arrive just after Motlanthe but instead, Zuma sent his wife, Bongi Ngema-Zuma.
This comes a day after Zuma hinted that he may not make it to the event. Addressing his supporters outside the High Court in Pietermaritzburg at his corruption trial, Zuma said people should not be surprised if they do not see him – because he might be busy.
“If you don’t see me in some things, you must know I am busy. Tomorrow, the president is being inaugurated and there will be dignitaries and presidents. As they are inaugurating him, I am in jail. I don’t have time to go there because I am busy here, trying to stay out of jail,” said Zuma, speaking in isiZulu.
The relationship between Zuma and his predecessor Ramaphosa is said to be sour. However many political analysts had thought Zuma would attend the inauguration. Zuma’s predecessor, Mbeki, despite their tense relationship, attended both his inaugurations in 2009 and 2014.
It is unclear whether Zuma had communicated that he would not be available for the event.