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Mabuza takes medical team’s advice, skips Parly Q&A session

Deputy President David Mabuza: Dumisani Sibeko/African News Agency (ANA)

Deputy President David Mabuza: Dumisani Sibeko/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 20, 2020

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Deputy President David Mabuza was not incapacitated, but has missed his oral question and answer session in Parliament on advice of his medical team.

His parliamentary advisor Hope Papo said earlier on Thursday during the meeting of the National Assembly programme committee.

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This was after DA MP Jacques Julius brought the matter following a meeting of the chief whips forum on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Mabuza wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise asking for the postponement of his Thursday appearance in the national legislature due to ill health.

It was the second time he did so after he missed two others in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.

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At the programme meeting, Julius said the matter was briefly discussed in the chief whips forum on Wednesday and he felt they needed an official explanation or take a decision.

"I don't want to sound insensitive the chief whip of the majority party explained and I thought we will get an official briefing today because this is an official meeting, not a chief whips' forum, where we can make decisions," he said.

Julius said questions for Mabuza had gone unanswered from his cancelled sessions and that there was some public outcry.

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"The chief whip of the majority party explained to us that there is a notice and we received the notice of a doctor's note but it has been going on for a very long time.The deputy president has been ill, " he said.

"It is a real concern as a colleague that we don't get proper explanation with the whereabouts of the deputy president but also what happens to these questions and his work as leader of government business," Julius said.

He said the executive needed to explain what was really happening.

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Papo described Julius's statements as being "insensitive" for raising the matter about Mabuza.

He said Mabuza had tendered an apology for the cancelled sessions and had been accepted by Modise, chief whips forum and the programme committee.

"The deputy president, in both instances, wrote to the speaker and there was no question whether the presidential medical advice is actually correct or not."

He said Mabuza had wanted to come answer the oral questions but was advised otherwise.

Papo took a swipe at Julius accusing him of raising the issue as if the deputy president did not want to answer questions.

"The deputy president is ready to come answer the questions but he cant defy his medical team. He talks and is walking about but that does not mean if his medical team says 'you must be off' we create an impression that the (deputy) president is in ICU," he said.

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