Deputy President, finally, shows face in public

MANGAUNG – South African Deputy President, David Mabuza, has finally made a public appearance, ending months of speculation from South Africans about his whereabouts and role in the country amid the devastating coronavirus pandemic. Deputy President Mabuza was in Mangaung, in the Free State, where he assessed that province’s state of readiness to deal with COVID-19 cases which are expected to reach a peak later on in the year.

Province ready for COVID-19 cases peak

In briefing the deputy president, the Free State government detailed how buildings had been disinfected, hospitals converted, and how water tanks were being distributed. Just before the national lockdown in March, many people were infected in the Mangaung metro when hundreds gathered for a religious meeting. The Free State is estimated to have more than 2 700 ICU beds available for COVID-19 patients by the time the peak of the pandemic hits later this year. Close to 4 000 beds would be available for critical patients. There are already more than 800 beds available for quarantine purposes.

Deputy president working; just not in the public eye

While Mabuza had been away, his office says the deputy president has been busy working behind closed doors and tackling other matters of national importance. He has attended every meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and every cabinet meeting, said Matshepo Seedat, the spokesperson of the office of the deputy president. “The deputy president has attended consultative meetings with social partners that the president has held with Nedlac [the National Economic Development and Labour Council], business, religious leaders, political party leaders represented in parliament; Presidential Coordinating Council with premiers and MECs for the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department and parliamentary caucus meetings. He has chaired the Eskom task team meetings and has been chairing cabinet committees since the lockdown started,” she said.

Recently Mabuza has been conspicuous as far as his role in the state has been concerned. President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize have been seen to be the government’s face in the fight against the pandemic because they always show face to give updates about the coronavirus in South Africa.

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