Cape Town - Deputy President David Mabuza has denied speculation surrounding his visits to Russia, saying they were purely for medical purposes.
He told members of the National Assembly, during question time on Thursday, that they must remove any doubts and suspicions about his trips to Moscow.
Mabuza has in the past stated that he had been to Russia at his own cost and this was for medical purposes.
He has been to that country over the last few years since it first emerged he went to Russia in 2014.
He denied that his trips to Russia was to strike any deals as suggested by the opposition.
“We must remove this suspicion about my going to Russia. It’s purely for medical purposes. From here, I go to hospital (in Russia) and come back,” said Mabuza.
He said there was nothing sinister about his trips.
Russia is currently in conflict with Ukraine over the last few weeks, with thousands of people dead and others leaving Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told Parliament a few weeks ago that he was in consultation with various leaders and was prepared to mediate in the conflict in Ukraine.
He said he had spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Ramaphosa said he was also still waiting to talk to Voldyrmr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine.
The government has been criticised by the opposition for sitting on the fence on the Ukraine conflict, but Ramaphosa and his Cabinet have insisted that they want dialogue to resolve the conflict.
Ramaphosa said the cessation of hostilities was important to achieve peace and stability in the region.