Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza took ill last year because he was poisoned, his office has said on Wednesday.
An investigation was underway, his spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango said.
It was not known who was behind the poisoning. The alleged poison plot came to light during an interview with the Sowetan newspaper published on Wednesday.
Mabuza told the paper that he became ill in August after he “let his guard down” and accepted food during his birthday celebrations in Bushbuckridge. He said after eating, his energy levels dropped and he had been sick ever since.
Mabuza was admitted to the Nelspruit Mediclinic and then transferred to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, but doctors could not determine what was wrong with him.
The premier told the Sowetan it was only when he was transferred to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Pretoria that doctors made a diagnosis.
He claimed they found a foreign bacteria in his body and put him on treatment which “slowly sucked the poison” out of his body.
Mncwango told News24 on Wednesday that Mabuza was doing well.
He is healthy and he is attending to all his duties, those of government and the ANC.”
Mabuza was currently in Pretoria attending an ANC national executive committee lekgotla.
A News24 correspondent reported that Mabuza had been on sick leave for more than 50 days last year. He returned to work in November.
ANC members, government employees and journalists gathered to welcome him back and hear his side of the story.
“Few people appeared, saying I am mad. That is serious hatred. Others said ‘he is dead’, while I am alive,” he said at the time.
“What does a rat do when the cat is not around? The rat does whatever it wants. When they ask where is the cat? They say he’s not available. They say the cat is not here. No, the cat is back,” he said.