David Mabuza may not become South Africa’s deputy president again

South Africa’s deputy president, David Mabuza will not be sworn in as a member of the National Assembly, no thanks to the ruling African National Congress’s (ANC) integrity commission report. 

In April, the ANC’s integrity commission (IC) – which was mandated by the governing party’s highest decision-making body to review its lists of candidates for the national assembly and provincial legislatures – recommended, among other names, that its party member and deputy president, David Mabuza and national chairperson Gwede Mantashe be among those that should step aside.

Prior to the elections earlier this month, the president noted that “We are determined that those found guilty of corruption or involvement in state capture will not be allowed to occupy positions of responsibility, either in the ANC, in parliament or in government.”

The president who is expected to announce his reconfigured executive and cabinet members, following his inauguration on Saturday 25 May, said on Wednesday that Mabuza had asked to have his swearing-in postponed.

“The deputy president made the request in light of a report by the ANC integrity commission in which he is alleged to have prejudiced the integrity of the ANC and brought the organisation into disrepute,” Ramaphosa said. Adding that “the deputy president has indicated he would like to have an opportunity to address the integrity commission on these allegations.”

Mabuza has been accused of corruption and this is not the first time he has asked to clear his name. In August 2018, the deputy president went to the courts to clear his name of longstanding assassination and corruption allegations against him.  Under his leadership, children drowned after falling into dilapidated school pit toilets and millions of dollars in education funding disappeared.

Mabuza confirmed to News24 that he has opened a defamation case against ANC member Bishop Hangwi Maumela.

Many of the ruling ANC members have been implicated of corruption, however, the party still included them in its list of candidates. Even the Electoral Commission of South Africa, (IEC), stated it received objections about 33 of the ANC’s nominated candidates including the deputy president.

The announcement on Mabuza’s postponement comes after the speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete and former Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba withdrew from the member of parliament list. On Tuesday, Mbete and Gigaba informed the secretary-general’s office that they were no longer available to serve in the sixth parliament without giving the reason for their decision.

Ramaphosa had said that “the era of impunity is over. We are now entering the era of accountability. Our young people want jobs; they want them now and we know what needs to be done to increase jobs, to grow the economy.” Hopefully, he will be true to his words; starting with his deputy.