Mashatile joins ANC caucus before expected move to Union Buildings

Andisiwe Makinana Political correspondent
ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile was sworn in as an MP on Monday. File photo.
ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile was sworn in as an MP on Monday. File photo.

ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile has joined the party's parliamentary caucus, but has remained silent about becoming South Africa's deputy president.

Mashatile was one of four new ANC MPs, with former KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala, former deputy minister Parks Tau and newly elected ANC deputy secretary-general Maropene Ramokgopa, who were sworn in on Monday.

“We are deployed here by the ANC to implement the manifesto of the ANC. We are joining a team of comrades who have already been here. So we are going to work with them to ensure we serve our people,” said Mashatile.

He downplayed his expected move to the Union Buildings, saying he will wait for ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina to assign him and the other new MPs to their responsibilities in parliament.

“We will be briefed by the chief whip on what our responsibilities are going to be as MPs and we will serve with dignity and respect whatever task we are given.”

“For now I am here to serve as MP. It’s good to be back here, I spent some time in parliament before, so I am looking forward to work as an MP.”

Mashatile said he was unaware of Deputy President David Mabuza’s intentions. 

“As far as I know, he is still the deputy president of the republic. The last time I saw him he was the DP of the republic.”

Mashatile said President Cyril Ramaphosa had not yet briefed the ANC top seven about a possible cabinet reshuffle.

Majodina, however, had a different take. Shortly after Mashatile spoke to journalists, Majodina said a cabinet reshuffle may take place after the state of the nation address (Sona).

“The president is busy with the mining indaba. The president is preparing for Sona. Let’s allow the president to finish Sona, then maybe after Sona the president will be able to give us a new programme of what is going to happen in the cabinet,” said Majodina.

“There is nothing written in black and white that the deputy president of the ANC automatically becomes deputy [president] of the country. It’s just that you media, you are used to what has been happening, but there is no written law about [it].

“I am in touch with Mabuza. I’ve met him several times. We are waiting for the president to give a nod or not.

“The deputy president said he thinks he has served government but also wants to open up for a new deputy president who has been elected by [the ANC] conference, so he doesn’t want to continue serving. He thinks he has played his role.”


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