David mabuza cabinet reshuffle

Deputy President David Mabuza / Image by GCIS

Fake News alert: Deputy President David Mabuza is ‘alive and well’

Rumours began circulating with increasing vigour on Sunday that Mabuza had died, but his spokesperson has confirmed he is ‘alive and well’.

David mabuza cabinet reshuffle

Deputy President David Mabuza / Image by GCIS

Reports of Deputy President David Mabuza’s death are greatly exaggerated, it turns out. Twitter was flooded with rumours that he had passed away on Sunday evening, but a spokesperson for the man fondly known as “The Cat” has confirmed that he is safe and well at his home, and certainly not dead.

Mabuza safe at home

Mabuza’s spokesperson, Matshepo Seedat, confirmed that the Deputy President is by no means dead.

“The Office of the Deputy President has received numerous calls from concerned south africans regarding the health status of Deputy President David Mabuza,” she said.

“We would like to assure South Africans that the Deputy President is at home and well.”

She said Mabuza’s office was unsure where the rumours had emanated from, but insisted that any information that contradicted her statement was purely fictitious. Amidst the rumours was talk of his long term illness that forced him to take a leave of absence in 2015 to receive medical treatment in Russia.

Mabuza cancelled two scheduled Parliamentary question and answer sessions on 22 July 2020 due to ill health, and Parliament released a statement on Wednesday 22 July saying that Mabuza would be unable to appear as he is not in good health. The statement did not, however, specify what the deputy president is suffering from. 

“Anything contrary to this is a malicious and unfortunate rumour.”

Deputy President’s whereabouts ‘not something to worry about’

To be fair, Mabuza has been known to disappear for prolonged periods of time, with South Africans often wondering where he is while other members of government are present on the frontlines of some of the country’s biggest issues.

Seedat told The South African on Sunday 2 August that Mabuza’s role as Deputy President is purely designed to support President Cyril Ramaphosa’s endeavours and not to place himself in the limelight. She said this due to what she described as “constant queries regarding the whearabouts of the Deputy President”.

“His constitutional role is not to enforce policy or usurp the President, he is there to assist and support whatever the President is engaged with,” she said.