ONE Direction star Zayn Malik has quit the boyband’s world tour after being “signed off with stress” and is flying back to Britain.
The band is due to stage two shows in Johannesburg on March 28 and 29 and in Cape Town on April 1.
The announcement comes after the singer was forced to defend himself online and declare his love for fiancée Perrie Edwards after pictures emerged of him apparently close to another woman.
A spokesman for the band said: “Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate. The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta.”
On Wednesday, the star told his 14.1 million Twitter followers: “I’m 22 years old . . . I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous f***s in this world I’m sorry for what it looks like x.”
Edwards, 21, is a member of the girlband Little Mix and the pair met on The X Factor.
The picture showed Malik with his arm around the bare stomach of a woman in a cropped top.