In South Africa, all attention yesterday was focused on what Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had to say in parliament.

With the economy under pressure, questions over education funding and the finance minister himself embroiled in a political row, Mr Gordhan’s mini-budget statement was eagerly awaited.

But this morning, South Africans are waking up to the news that President Jacob Zuma may have nodded off during the minister’s lengthy statement.

The Times Live news website reckons that he was dozing:

And the Rand Daily Mail news site has five possible interpretations:

  • I was checking my Twitter timeline
  • My ear was itchy, I was rubbing it on my shoulder
  • I was trying to listen to what ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu was muttering under his breath behind me
  • I concentrate better when my eyes are closed
  • Sleep is just an alternative state of consciousness.

On the video from parliament’s You Tube channel Mr Zuma is shown as being awake just over a minute later.

(Go to one hour 13 minutes 13 seconds to see him with his eyes closed and then one hour 14 minutes and 53 seconds to see him awake.)

His office has not yet commented on the reports.