Deputy President David Mabuza’s failure to answer certain questions in parliament could be attributed to the need to protect the ANC’s image ahead of next year’s general elections, according to a political analyst.
Mabuza was responding yesterday to heated oral questions from the members of parliament.
One of the triggering topics was on national government’s intervention in the troubled North West province, where former premier Supra Mahumapelo had just vacated the office.
MPs pulled no punches in questioning Mabuza on how and why the matter was being dealt with by government’s interministerial committee.
However, Mabuza avoided answering the questions.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen also asked Mabuza why no action had been taken as yet in Free State, where municipalities were performing worse than in the North West.
Meanwhile, the IFP’s Xolani Ngwezi took the opportunity to remind Mabuza that there were also several nagging issues in other provinces like Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. Ngwezi asked if government was waiting for people to destroy public property before they took action.
Mabuza responded, saying he would only take the warning seriously if it was more “explicit”.
Political analyst Andre Duvenhage said he thinks what happened yesterday in parliament was a rebellion against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet.
Duvenhage said the ANC was trying hard to maintain unity within its ranks ahead of the polls, this as the party’s image was more important than being openly accountable about sensitive matters within the country.
He said: “Them debating these matters could lead to a negative outcome for the party, so they would rather not discuss them openly for now.
“I think a lot of these discussions are happening behind closed doors because they want to maintain a good image as the elections come up next year.
“That is why you see not very strong action was taken against Supra Mahumapelo [sic]. He is still influential in the North West and he still has great support in the province that the ANC needs. It would be even more difficult to get rid of Ace Magashule in the Free State. It is more of a political thing than a legal administrative matter.”