Deputy President David Mabuza.
- Deputy President David Mabuza paid for his own flights and costs for his Russian medical treatment.
- The only costs to the Presidency incurred were for his private secretary.
- Mabuza is “fully competent” to execute his duties, said his spokesperson.
Deputy President David Mabuza paid for his own flight and medical costs when he visited Russia for medical treatment.
In a statement released on Friday, Mabuza’s spokesperson Matshepo Seedat said the DA posed written parliamentary questions to Mabuza about “the Deputy President’s leave period for a scheduled medical consultation in the Russian Federation”.
This included questions on the cost of the trip and Mabuza’s fitness to carry out his responsibilities.
The reply hasn’t been published yet at the time of writing, but according to Seedat, “Mabuza reminded the official opposition of the response to a similar question posed to President Ramaphosa in the National Assembly on Friday 03 September 2021”.
Seedat’s statement said:
On the specific matter of the cost of the Deputy President’s flights and medical costs to the Russian Federation, the response informed the official opposition that transport used was a commercial flight paid for at [the] Deputy President’s own personal cost, including for medical costs.
“The only costs incurred by The Presidency related to the Private Secretary who accompanied the Deputy President as per requirement.
“Furthermore, Parliament was reminded that the Deputy President like any other South African is entitled to choose his preferred medical practitioner. In the recent past in Parliament, the Deputy President took South Africans into confidence about him taking ill and how he ended up receiving life-saving treatment from doctors in the Russian Federation.
“The Deputy President is fully competent to execute his responsibilities as delegated by the President.”
Last week Friday, Ramaphosa answered questions in the National Assembly.
DA leader John Steenhuisen asked whether taxpayers paid for Mabuza’s trip to Russia.
Ramaphosa said Mabuza was entitled to security, transport and accommodation wherever he was as it is government’s responsibility to ensure the deputy president and the president are kept safe.
Wherever the deputy president or the president goes, transportation is the responsibility of the government. When they are flying, it is the responsibility of the air force. When travelling on the ground, it is the responsibility of presidential protection police.
“Where somebody gets his medical treatment is their choice, just like when someone has to choose which doctor to treat them.”
Mabuza was initially said to be on leave for two weeks but ended up being out of the country for over a month to receive treatment in Russia.