Where is DD Mabuza? He's been advised by medical team not to return to Parly yet

This is according to Mabuza’s parliamentary counsellor, African National Congress (ANC) MP Hope Papo.

Deputy president David Mabuza. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President David Mabuza was ready and willing to answer questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, but was advised against doing so by his medical team.

This was according to Mabuza’s Parliamentary counsellor, African National Congress (ANC) member of Parliament, Hope Papo.

Papo was responding to questions raised by the Democratic Alliance (DA) about Mabuza’s absence during the National Assembly’s programming committee on Thursday morning.

Mabuza had previously asked to be excused from scheduled oral reply sessions in the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on the grounds of ill-health.

On Monday, he asked to be excused from Thursday's National Assembly sitting again, for the same reason.

Questions have been swirling around the well-being of the Deputy President, although his office has said he was “at home and well” and merely acting on medical advice.

DA deputy chief whip Jacques Julius noted Mabuza had been ill “for a very long time” and asked how questions for him would be dealt with, as well as his role as leader of government business.

“I think the executive needs to explain to us, what is happening now, what will we do in terms of getting someone to answer those questions, because the work must continue. Even though we feel for our colleagues that are ill, governance must continue. We need to give the public some clarity, we need to get clarity ourselves…”

Papo insisted Mabuza was not dodging questions:

“The DP wanted to come this week to answer, actually he was ready to come and answer questions. Medical advice said he must just wait a bit and then there was an agreement with the Speaker there would be a mutually agreed date.

“It’s very funny Mr Julius keeps on raising this question as if the Deputy President does not want to answer. Must the deputy president defy medical advice so that he can deal with the public outcry?”

Papo told the meeting that Mabuza was not seriously ill.

“The DP is not incapacitated but he was asked to actually not (come and answer questions) because when (come) you have to speak for a long time, three to four hours – and that actually happens.”

Papo did not give details of the causes of Mabuza’s ill-health.

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