S. African deputy president’s illness not related to COVID-19: spokesperson

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CAPE TOWN, July 23 (Xinhua) — Deputy President David Mabuza is ill at home but his illness is not related to COVID-19, Mabuza’s spokesperson Matshepo Seedat said on Thursday.

Mabuza tested negative for COVID-19 and nothing has changed so far, Seedat said in response to speculations that the deputy president might have been infected with COVID-19 after he was unable to honor scheduled appearance in Parliament due to “ill health” on Wednesday.

“The deputy president has, in the past, spoken openly about his ill health. As per previous communication by the department for defence on the coronavirus test result, nothing has changed,” Seedat said.

Mabuza’s private doctors advised him to stay at home in Mpumalanga Province, and that is why the deputy president cancelled planned question and answer sessions in Parliament, said Seedat.

“In his correspondence, the deputy president has assured both presiding officers that he will avail himself to respond to oral replies on a date to be mutually agreed to,” Seedat said.

Mabuza had been scheduled to answer oral questions in the National Council of Provinces, or Upper House, on Thursday and in the National Assembly, or Lower House, on July 30.

Both National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and NOCP Chairperson Amos Masondo have received an apology from Mabuza for being unable to attend the question sessions in both Houses, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said earlier.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly in South Africa since its outbreak in early March. As of Wednesday, South Africa recorded 394,948 confirmed cases and 5,940 related deaths, according to official figures. Enditem

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