The Presidency says Deputy President David Mabuza paid for his own flights and medical costs during his six-week trip to Russia to seek medical treatment.
Mabuza’s office on Friday evening said he had submitted written replies to Parliamentary questions asked by the DA on the cost of his medical trip to Russia in July.
His spokesperson Matshepo Seedat said the response informed the official opposition the transport used was a commercial flight paid for at the deputy president’s own personal cost, including for medical costs.
“The only costs incurred by the Presidency related to the private secretary who accompanied the deputy president as per requirement,” Seedat said in a statement.
Mabuza ‘fully competent’ to execute his duties
Mabuza was in Russia for a scheduled medical consultation, according to his office. This was for a follow-up to his previous medical consultations, after he was allegedly poisoned during his tenure as the premier of Mpumalanga.
Mabuza’s office said Parliament was reminded that the deputy president, like any other South African, is entitled to choose his preferred medical practitioner.
The statement added that Mabuza was “fully competent to execute his responsibilities” as delegated by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“In the recent past in Parliament, the deputy president took South Africans into confidence about him taking ill and how he ended up receiving life-saving treatment from doctors in the Russian Federation.”
Ramaphosa defends Mabuza’s Russia trip
Last week, Ramaphosa defended Mabuza’s recent medical trip to Russia while responding to MPs’ questions in the National Assembly.
The president said Mabuza was entitled to seek medical assistance in any country of his choosing.
“Where he gets his treatment, in the end, it’s a personal choice. Just as anyone would choose which doctor should treat them, which dentist should treat them, they’re entitled because it affects them personally.
“And they need to feel that they can get whatever treatment best from whatever medical practitioner,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said the state was responsible for Mabuza’s security and travel arrangements in Russia.