Cape Town - ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says it was the prerogative of President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint his deputy, but the expectation was that Paul Mashatile will get the top job when the president announces his Cabinet reshuffle.
Mbalula said the issue of the deputy president has been clarified with the ANC caucus in Parliament as well.
He said the practice was that the deputy president of the ANC becomes the deputy president of the Republic.
David Mabuza threw the spanner in the works a few weeks ago when he announced at his brother’s funeral in Mpumalanga that he had resigned as deputy president of the country.
This was after Mashatile was elected ANC deputy president in Nasrec.
When Mabuza announced that he had resigned, Ramaphosa told him to stay on until he had finalised all transition processes.
Mbalula said on Tuesday it was expected that Ramaphosa would finalise his Cabinet by the end of February.
However, he said the issue of Mashatile has been resolved now after Ramaphosa also raised it in his reply to the debate on the State of the Nation Address last Thursday.
He said the ANC caucus was aware of this situation after he briefed it as well.
“I briefed our caucus in Parliament about this, including the deputy president and that our deputy president must be considered for deployment in the (highest) office in the land.
“I briefed our caucus because you have been asking questions. The president has explained that the deputy president (Mabuza) has asked to step down. In this instance, the president asked that let’s do the transitional thing because there are a whole lot of things, when a person steps down, you consider.
“In this instance, our people, our structures have the expectation that Paul Mashatile will fill that vacancy. But that prerogative is the prerogative of the president. If the president were to come tomorrow and say something different, he will explain to the ANC why something different and not this way,” said Mbalula.
“There is no ulterior motive to undermine anybody, including the deputy president of the ANC neither our process says if you are deputy president (of the ANC) you are deputy president of the country. But in terms of decorum, collegiality and stability in the organisation we have not had something different over the years. Your expectation that Mashatile will occupy that position is not far-fetched unless if there is something new,” he said.
He added that it was a convention in the ANC that the deputy president of the party becomes the deputy president of the country.
Mashatile was sworn-in as an MP together with some leaders of the ANC.
This was before the State of the Nation address took place two weeks ago.
But after the Budget on Wednesday there should be movement on the appointment of the new Cabinet, said Mbalula.
He said this needed to happen within this month.