Deputy President Mabuza humbled by opportunity to serve

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

From a “village boy” to ascending to the second highest office in the land, the newly sworn-in Deputy President says he is humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of South Africa. 

David Mabuza said this in an interview shortly after a swearing-in ceremony that was officiated by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at Tuynhuys in Cape Town on Tuesday evening. 

After being sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP) in National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete’s office around midday, the Deputy President took an oath of office in the Presence of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, family, staff from the Presidency and family members of executive principals.  

The Deputy President said, in reaction to his swearing in: “It is a very humbling experience to see the trust that people have in you and it encourages you to do more and to do your best. I am very humbled by the trust displayed in me by the President and the ruling party… I hope I won’t disappoint. I will do my best.”  

Describing himself as a village boy who has ascended to the second highest office despite several challenges, the Deputy President was born in Brondal, Mathafeni, on 25 August 1960.

A teacher by profession, the Deputy President rose as an activist and got involved in the labour movement and politics before eventually being part of the Mpumalanga provincial legislature in 1994. 

He was eventually elected as the chairperson of the ANC in Mpumalanga in 2008 before being appointed as Premier the following year - a position he continued to hold until his election as the Deputy President of the ANC at its 54th National Conference in Nasrec in 2017.  

While President Ramaphosa was the leader of government business while he was former President Jacob Zuma’s deputy, the new Deputy President said he did not know if that responsibility would be assigned to him and that he would need to wait to hear from the President first. 

“That means the President has to formally assign a responsibility to me,” he said.    

Finance Minister reacts after returning to his old position 

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, who was returning to his old position after he was replaced during a Cabinet reshuffle last year, said it was not easy for him to decline the call on Monday. 

“Indeed one had to respond to a call to the public service and now one needs to familiarise themselves with the terrain again. It will take a little time and that is going to be my first task. 

“I am supposed to prepare for Cabinet tomorrow, and I haven’t even seen the file and I still have to get all of that but it is indeed an honour to have to be called again. Of course I wasn’t even sure [I want to come back] but it turns out that when the call comes, it is difficult to say no,” he said. 

President thanks Ministers, Deputy Ministers for agreeing to serve 

Meanwhile, the President thanked newly sworn-in Ministers and Deputy Ministers for agreeing to be part of the executive when called upon to serve. 

Among those that were sworn in were Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.  

Making brief remarks after the swearing in ceremony earlier in the day, President Ramaphosa thanked the Chief Justice for his words after he made an impassioned plea for the newly sworn-in Ministers and Deputy Ministers to respect their oath of office. -

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