Mabuza paid for Russia trip, says office; DA wants details of medical condition

Deputy President David Mabuza left for Russia to receive medical treatment in June and is expected back in the country on Wednesday.

Deputy President David Mabuza visits the Biovac Institute in Midrand on 2 March 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - As questions around Deputy President David Mabuza’s medical treatment in Russia continue, his office said that he personally paid for his travel expenses.

Mabuza left for Russia to receive medical treatment in June and is expected back in the country on Wednesday.

The official opposition has called on the Surgeon-General to update the nation on the deputy president’s health. While this is unlawful, the party has argued that the public had the right to know whether he was fit to continue in office and carry out his constitutional duties.

Deputy President Mabuza returns to a country in an even deeper crisis, counting the cost of the worst violence post-apartheid.

His boss, President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing criticism for prolonged consultations instead of firing incompetent ministers, especially those in the security cluster that failed to stop last month’s violence and widespread looting.

Mabuza though won’t escape scrutiny. As the leader of government business, he is in charge of critical government projects, including turning around Eskom and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

While insiders from the Presidency have told Eyewitness News that Mabuza’s trip was not a surprise and that he stayed in touch with President Ramaphosa, the Democratic Alliance (DA) wanted his medical condition disclosed to determine if he was fit for office.

Mabuza has been in Russia for more than a month for treatment, a second stint following a similar trip in 2018. His office said that on both occasions, he paid for his travels.

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