'I am grateful I survived' - Mabuza after month-long illness

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  • Deputy president David Mabuza said he was sick for a month and grateful he survived. 
  • He said his recovery was not easy and that he had been back on the job for 10 days. 
  • The deputy president said party leaders should respect the integrity commission when asked to step aside. 

Deputy president David Mabuza is recovering from a month-long illness he is grateful to have survived. 

On the 10th day back at the job, Mabuza said he was ready to return to the ANC's integrity commission to clear the air and would not resist a call to step aside.

The deputy president joined the officials of the ANC for a press briefing on Monday following its three day national executive committee (NEC) meeting over the weekend. 

"My health situation is improving. I am grateful I survived. Some of our people were already circulating information that I am dead. Well, I am still alive. It was a very difficult situation getting ill. It's not an easy situation," he said. 

Concerns were raised about Mabuza's ill health when he cancelled two parliamentary question and answer sessions in three months. 

Mabuza said he was in good hands and that his health was on the mend. 

READ| 'Where is DD Mabuza?' Sick-again deputy president cannot answer questions in Parliament

The deputy president, known in political circles for being the proverbial cat with many "lives", said while he had "discomfort" with how the ANC's integrity committee dealt with his issue last year, he would happily subject himself to the commission. 

City Press reported that the integrity commission in July told the ANC's top brass that they never cleared Mabuza and were pressured to interview the deputy president before President Cyril Ramaphosa's inauguration last year. 

Mabuza postponed his swearing-in at Parliament last year so that he could face accusations of abuse of power for when he was Mpumalanga premier. 

"According to them, I was not supposed to be called, I was supposed to present myself. I left. I went back to the officials. The integrity commission wrote their own report. In that regard, I was allowed to go back to Parliament. I never insisted to go back," Mabuza said. 

He said he was prepared to go the extra mile and deal with all the issues raised by the integrity commission. 

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"From where I am sitting, maybe there are new issues. I am always prepared to listen to the integrity commission. I am always prepared to step aside when asked to step aside," Mabuza said. 

The ANC NEC decided that: "Cadres of the ANC who are reported to be involved in corrupt and other serious criminal practices must go to the integrity commission to explain themselves. Those who do not give an acceptable explanation may be suspended." 

Ramaphosa was expected to appear before a group of ANC veterans to clear the air around his CR17 campaign.

Party secretary-general Ace Magashule too was expected to appear before the group to deal with accusations of corruption hanging over him.

Mabuza said Ramaphosa was leading by example. 

But he said the integrity commission needed some work. 

"We need to strengthen the process. We will meet to iron out a few issues; whatever we do (there) should be sequence and coordination," Mabuza said. 

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