Dlamini-Zuma is 'simply doing her job', says Mabuza

Deputy President David Mabuza. (Jan Gerber/News24)
Deputy President David Mabuza. (Jan Gerber/News24)
  • Deputy President David Mabuza said Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, amid all the criticism, was simply doing her job.
  • Mabuza also said President Cyril Ramaphosa was in charge and not Dlamini-Zuma.
  • DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone called Dlamini-Zuma the "unofficial prime minister of the country".

Deputy President David Mabuza has defended under fire Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, saying that, amid a slew of criticism, she is simply doing her job.

Dlamini-Zuma, who has become the unofficial face of the ban on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products, has been in and out of court to defend the government's regulations under the nationwide lockdown.

During a hybrid question and answer session in the National Assembly on Thursday, Mabuza defended the work of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).

Mabuza also made it clear that President Cyril Ramaphosa is in charge and not Dlamini-Zuma.

"Therefore, the minister (Dlamini-Zuma) has been given the role, with other ministers, to work out regulations every time we make a movement between levels of the lockdown. The minister (Dlamini-Zuma) is just doing her job, like any other minister. The president is still the president. He is commanding the command council and the Cabinet. Nothing has gone wrong," Mabuza said.

Mabuza also took a swipe at DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone, who called Dlamini-Zuma the "unofficial prime minister of the country".

"It will be incorrect to say that Minister Dlamini-Zuma is now prime minister. It is because of her role in the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta). Cogta is the one that administers the (Disaster Management) Act, under which we have declared our national disaster," Mabuza said.

Earlier this month, News24 reported that Cabinet had deferred taking any decisions related to amending regulations under alert Level 3 of the national lockdown pending a full health assessment report from the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19.

The advisory committee is led by Professor Salim Abdool Karim.

In a supplementary question to Mabuza, Mazzone said the decisions by the NCCC have been embarrassing.  

"The problem is no one elected this command council. But Parliament is elected. Some of the regulations have been a hot mess. Minister Dlamini-Zuma now has an incredible amount of power because she is in fact in charge of running this council as she oversees the Disaster Management Act.

ALSO READ | Covid-19: South Africa can ill-afford another Western Cape type outbreak, says Mabuza

"So what we have here is an unelected prime minister, who is governing over an unelected sub-Parliament of ministers. We have a deputy president, who is the leader of government business in Parliament somewhat sidelined, and a president who is seemingly powerless. Why is Parliament not used to conduct oversight?" Mazzone said.

Mabuza said the NCCC plays an important role in South Africa's fight against the coronavirus.

"Mostly ministers and the president chair that command council. I sit as deputy president. This structure is processing the impact and looking at the spread of this virus. It makes and recommends certain decisions to Cabinet. Cabinet is still in charge and it is still accountable in terms of its own workings. We answer questions to Parliament. We have not abdicated that responsibility," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
7% - 985 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1871 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
79% - 10520 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.22
(-0.68)
ZAR/GBP
20.32
(-0.43)
ZAR/EUR
18.13
(-0.66)
ZAR/AUD
11.21
(-0.69)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.83)
Gold
1809.97
(+0.12)
Silver
23.32
(-0.11)
Platinum
964.00
(+0.51)
Brent Crude
48.73
(+1.57)
Palladium
2369.00
(+2.47)
All Share
57923.69
(+0.31)
Top 40
53084.13
(+0.27)
Financial 15
11645.28
(+0.04)
Industrial 25
79993.34
(+0.20)
Resource 10
52790.93
(+0.35)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo