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Should heads of state make public their health status?

4 May 2017 3:18 PM

Following speculations on the health of Nigerian President Buhari, Gugs and Sizwe ask why head of states hide when they are sick.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, 74, has been under growing pressure to disclose the state of his health since he returned from London in early March after being away for nearly two months.

Buhari has so far missed two of the last three cabinet meetings and his wife Aisha Buhari has been recorded as saying her husband's health is "not as bad as it's being perceived".

702's Gugs and Sizwe speak to Professor John Stremlau on whether heads of state need to communicate their illness to the public.

Stremlau says it is concerning that the Americans don't anything about the health of their president except that his doctor said 'he is the healthiest president ever'.

We should know more. These guys take on all sorts of responsibilities on our behalf..

Prof. John Stremlau, International Relations at Wits University

People become suspicious when someone tries to hide things.

Prof. John Stremlau, International Relations at Wits University

When it comes to South Africa, Stremlau says Former President Nelson Mandela was transparent about his health and there seem to be no speculations about President Zuma's health.

We know that Zuma is not transparent as he should be on a lot of issues and that puts a lot of pressure on the media because we want to know whats going on as citizens.

Prof. John Stremlau, International Relations at Wits University

Citizens have the right to know whether their leaders are in trouble or not... more transparency the better.

Prof. John Stremlau, International Relations at Wits University

Listen below for the full interview and listeners inputs:


4 May 2017 3:18 PM