The DA has written to Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature Speaker, Thandi Shongwe, seeking clarity over the legality of former Premier, David Mabuza appointing an Acting Premier for a position he no longer holds.

According to Thandi Shongwe, former Premier David Mabuza tendered his resignation on the 26th of February 2018 and later gave the Speaker a letter of appointment to appoint Refilwe Mtsweni as Acting Premier of the province.

The DA has requested both letters from the Speaker.

It would seem that the appointment is in contravention of Section 131 of the Constitution which details the steps that must be followed should a Premier be absent or otherwise unable to fulfil the duties of the office of the Premier.

Section 131(a) of the Constitution allows for the Premier to appoint the Acting Premier but in this case, David Mabuza has resigned as Premier of Mpumalanga and as such did not have the authority to decide who must fill the vacancy that he has left.

Section 131(b) provides for members of the Executive Council to appoint the Acting Premier but clearly this is not what happened as the Speaker stated that there was a letter of appointment from a person who had resigned.

Section 131(c) states that the Speaker can hold the position until the legislature designates one of its other members.

By accepting the former Premier’s letter of appointment of the Acting Premier, Thandi Shongwe has ensured that David Mabuza’s tenure as Premier of Mpumalanga does not end. The situation is such that while David Mabuza has been sworn in to the National Assembly as Deputy President, he still retains his position as Premier of Mpumalanga as he has appointed an individual to hold the position for him as if he will return.

Thandi Shongwe should have taken her cue from National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbethe and postponed SOPA until there was a duly elected Premier in Mpumalanga. Instead, Shongwe chose to rather continue to allow David Mabuza to retain his mafia-style hold over Mpumalanga even after he has left.

This further demonstrates that it is not only individuals within the ANC that are corrupt, but it is the ANC itself that is the problem. The people of Mpumalanga deserve total change and freedom from Mabuza’s autocratic leadership.