Will Ramaphosa name new DP after Mabuza asks to first clear his name?

Earlier on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that David Mabuza wanted to first clear his name with the party’s integrity commission before taking up his seat as MP.

FILE: David Mabuza. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Constitutional experts say President Cyril Ramaphosa will still have to name his deputy when the new Cabinet is announced by next week despite the sudden postponement of African National Congress (ANC) deputy president David Mabuza's swearing in as a member of Parliament.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ramaphosa announced that Mabuza wanted to first clear his name with the party’s integrity commission before taking up his seat.

He is reportedly one of 22 senior leaders in the party who were flagged by the commission for bringing the party into disrepute.

The country’s Constitution dictates that the president must appoint his Cabinet speedily and without delay.

Ramaphosa is expected to name his executive by Monday, 27 May.

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Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said by law, the deputy president must be an MP.

“If at a later date Mr Mabuza becomes available, then he will be placed again at the top of the ANC’s electoral list. He can go back to the National Assembly and the president can then remove the deputy president he’s appointed and appoint Mr Mabuza,” De Vos said.

Another law expert, Phephelaphi Dube, agreed with De Vos, stating that Mabuza’s absence in Parliament would create a vacancy that the president would have to fill with one of the members of the National Assembly.

However, political analyst Lesiba Teffo said it would be a wise move for Ramaphosa not to appoint a deputy, so as not to undermine Mabuza and his constituency.

"One of the options that I think he might consider in order not alienate DD and his constituency, and indeed in order not to throw him into the camp or the faction that is clearly anti-him, he might opt not to appoint a deputy. It's within him, the Constitution provides for that," said Teffo.

"He’s not compelled to appoint a deputy president."

Several sources in the party said Ramaphosa would likely appoint Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, with whom he competed for the top post at the ANC’s elective conference in December 2017.

Sources claimed the move would give Ramaphosa the upper hand by pacifying the faction that supported Dlamini-Zuma at Nasrec.

Other names touted include current ministers Lindiwe Sisulu and Naledi Pandor.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)