David Mabuza will only return to SA once medical team clears him
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Johannesburg - The office of Deputy President David Mabuza has confirmed that he is still in Russia and that he will be back in the country once his medical team clears his health.
But according to news reports, Mabuza is scheduled back in the country on Wednesday.
Mabuza went to Russia for medical treatment after he took a leave of absence in June this year.
At the time, his office had said he would return within a few weeks, but he is still there. However, the Presidency has been secretive in dealing with the issue of Mabuza.
“South Africans can rest assured that the deputy president is doing well, and he will be back from leave once his medical team has cleared and released him,” said Matshepo Seedat.
A number of political parties and civilians had lately raised concern regarding Mabuza’s whereabouts, while some called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to reshuffle his Cabinet.
In a statement, the Presidency said Mabuza had asked his boss, Ramaphosa, if he could take “a few days leave” for medical treatment.
“During this time, the deputy president will undertake a visit to the federation for a scheduled medical consultation. This consultation is a follow-up to previous medical consultations that the deputy president received from the Russian Federation,” said the statement.
Mabuza has been to Russia before for his condition, a few years ago.
“The big concern regarding the Mabuza issue is the secrecy about his health, because people can never know whether he is capable, or does the health get to a point where it incapacitates him from carrying out the function of the deputy president? Perhaps if there were no such secrecy people would have a clear sense as to what's happening, but now everyone is navigating in the dark,” said political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga.
Last month DA Shadow Minister for the Presidency Solly Malatsi announced that the party would write to the Office of the Deputy Speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli, as it has been a month since the country has seen or heard from Mabuza.
“We will request that Tsenoli seek a full report of the deputy president’s whereabouts; the cost of his extended stay in Russia; whether the taxpayer is footing the bill; when he plans to return to South Africa; and who is filling his shoes in his capacity as deputy president, the head of government business, chairperson of the special cabinet committee on Eskom and the chair of the inter-ministerial committee on vaccines,” said Malatsi.