David Mabuza under supervision of his physician at home
Durban - Almost two weeks after he asked the National Assembly to be excused from answering oral questions, Deputy President David Mabuza is currently under the supervision of his medical team at home.
Mabuza’s whereabouts and state of health has become a matter of public concern over the past few days after he stepped away from the public eye.
On Sunday, his office had to come out to deny fake news that he has passed away due to Covid-19. The fake news that was being circulated via social media and Whatsapp was even accompanied by a fake video of medical officers removing a corpse of what was claimed to be that of Mabuza.
On Monday, Independent Media sent questions to Matshepo Seedat, who speaks on behalf of Mabuza, seeking answers on whether the deputy president has recovered from the illness that prevented him from answering parliamentary questions.
We also wanted to know whether his decision to shun crowded public spaces and doing most of his work virtually was because he was a high-risk citizen after surviving a poisoning attempt while premier of Mpumalanga a few years ago.
In a detailed response to these questions, Seedat said Mabuza is currently under the care of the country’s military health services.
“The deputy president is at home under the supervision of his physician. As you would be aware, the healthcare of the president and the deputy president are the responsibility of the South African Military and Health Care Services of the South African National Defence Force,” Seedat said.
Seedat added that while Mabuza has been open about his ill-health challenges in the past, some privacy regarding that was still essential. She, however, pledged that Mabzua will in future keep the public in the loop.
“The deputy president wishes to thank all South Africans for the well-wishes and undertakes to periodically provide updates on his health condition,” she said.
Seedat, on behalf of Mabuza, further disputed perceptions that the deputy president has largely been missing in action since the Covid-19 virus placed the country on tenterhooks in March this year.
She said Mabuza recently undertook oversight visits to the Free State and North West to assess the state of the implementation of the provincial Covid-19 response plans.
“The agenda to flatten the curve of infections is the responsibility of every South African, more so with lockdown regulations in place.
“The deputy president has a responsibility and an obligation to lead by example. If those in leadership cannot respect the laws they pass, why would the people be expected to abide by the same laws.”
This was while Mabuza was taking part in executive meetings virtually since he had an obligation to contribute to the fight against the virus.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said while they have not agreed with Mabuza’s office on when he will appear before it to answer oral questions before the National Assembly and national council of provinces (NCOP), they have set two dates later this month and in early September.
“There's no agreement between Parliament and the deputy president yet. However the NA and the NCOP have provisionally scheduled the sessions for 20 Aug and 3 Sept respectively,” Mothapo said.
On the same matter, Seedat said the pending appearance would be after the current constituency period, which is from August 3 to 17.