President Cyril Ramaphosa has come out in support of his deputy David Mabuzaʼs decision to seek medical care in Russia, telling MPs it was his “personal choice” to do so, reports TimesLIVE.
Ramaphosa was responding to a question from DA leader John Steenhuisen in the National Assembly on Friday. Steenhuisen had asked why Ramaphosa appointed Mabuza to lead an interministerial committee on COVID-19 despite his recent six-week absence from work to receive medical attention in Russia.
The DA leader said Mabuza was not competent to lead and had effectively passed a vote of no confidence in the countryʼs public health system by repeatedly seeking medical treatment in Russia.
“Youʼve put him in charge of leading the coronavirus response …. heʼs been missing in action during the crisis. He was out of the country for six weeks, for a routine medical check-up in — what a vote of confidence in the SA healthcare system and your plans for National Health Insurance.”
According to TimesLIVE, Ramaphosa said “some measure of kindness is required when somebody is not well”.
“The deputy president was not well for some time … I granted him leave so his health can be restored,” Ramaphosa said.
Steenhuisen also wanted know if public money and state resources, including security arrangements, were allocated to Mabuza in Russia. Ramaphosa said government protocols dictated that a deputy president should be with his security detail at all times and that “transportation is the responsibility of the government”.
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