December 21, 2014 / 7:53 PM / 3 years ago

South Africa's Zuma says in 'perfect' health after post-election fatigue

South African President Jacob Zuma delivers a speech at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Year of South Africa in China at Tianqiao Theater in Beijing, December 5, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma said he was in “perfect” condition after recovering from a bout of fatigue that left him hospitalized in June, playing down reports of health problems.

Zuma, 72, has noticeably lost weight since coming to power in 2009. He was hospitalized for two days of tests following what his office said was a demanding schedule in the run-up to May’s national election.

“I think we did overstretch ourselves, I think there was fatigue thereafter,” Zuma said in an interview with national broadcaster SABC that was aired on Sunday.

“There was a period where I really took it easy. I couldn’t say my health was in perfect condition -- I‘m in perfect condition now -- but at that time, one could feel the strain of elections.”

The Sunday Times newspaper reported in June that Zuma’s hospitalization was triggered by heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. His spokesman later dismissed the report, saying Zuma was fine.

Worries about Zuma’s health have raised some speculation he may not see out the full five years of his second term. His ruling African National Congress (ANC) won a 62 percent majority in the May polls, its narrowest victory since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.

Reporting by David Dolan, editing by David Evans

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