- Deputy President David Mabuza is fulfilling his role as leader of government business.
- "He is doing well under the supervision of his physician," his spokesperson said.
- The DA wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint another Cabinet minister as leader of government business.
Deputy President David Mabuza is still fulfilling the functions of the leader of government business, his spokesperson said.
On Thursday, at a meeting of the National Assembly Programming Committee, MPs questioned who is fulfilling this role while Mabuza is booked off sick.
Mabuza was due to answer questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, but on Monday, after consultation with his doctor, he informed the Speaker of the National Assembly he would be unable to attend.
Last month, he cancelled question sessions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the National Assembly.
At Thursday's meeting, DA deputy chief whip Jacques Julius asked what happens to Mabuza's work as leader of government business. The question remained unanswered.
On Friday, Mabuza's spokesperson Matshepo Seedat informed News24 that the deputy president, during his time off, has been submitting the leader of government business reports to Cabinet, thereby fulfilling his responsibility in that regard.
The leader of government business reports have to be submitted at every Cabinet meeting.
"He has also submitted responses to written questions in the National Council of Provinces and organised for the sitting of the SANAC [South African National Aids Council] plenary. He continues with his responsibilities as the political head of the office."
Asked about Mabuza's well-being, Seedat said: "He is doing well under the supervision of his physician."
Also on Friday, the DA called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint another Cabinet member as leader of government business.
While the Constitution allows any Cabinet member to be appointed to this role, South African presidents have typically appointed their deputies to fulfil this role.
The leader of government business represents the national executive in Parliament and is, among other things, responsible for ensuring that Cabinet members attend to their parliamentary responsibilities.
"Given that the deputy president's ill health is of great concern to the nation and is continuing to prevent Parliament from holding government and the presidency to account, especially during the national state of disaster and in light of the Covid-19 corruption, it is important that someone be appointed to fulfil the role of leader of government business," DA MP and spokesperson Solly Malatsi said in a statement.
According to Malatsi, Thursday's postponed oral question session is the seventh time since 19 September 2019 that Mabuza has failed to answer questions in Parliament.
"While the DA would never invalidate anyone's illness, the deputy president's ill health seems to perpetually hamper the execution of his duties in this regard and is derailing the work of Parliament and potentially the work of government."
Malatsi wants Ramaphosa to make an announcement and the surgeon-general of South Africa, Lieutenant-General Zola Dabula, "to update the nation on the health of the deputy president".
"He has no need to disclose the details of Deputy President Mabuza's illness, as he, like all South Africans, have a right to privacy when it comes to his personal health."