The African National Congress (ANC) says the postponement of the swearing-in of the party’s deputy president David Mabuza as an MP is not linked to whether or not he will be part of the next cabinet.

On Wednesday, Mabuza requested that his swearing-in as an MP be postponed so that he can subject himself to the ANC Integrity Commission.

Mabuza is amongst 22 other ANC members, including a number of cabinet ministers, that have been fingered as having a case to answer with the Commission.

Speculation rages on

Speculation about Mabuza’s future rages on. ANC Presidency Head, Zizi Kodwa, says it is not the first time a member-designate has requested for their swearing-in to be postponed.

“It’s not the first time a member designate has requested for a swearing-in to be postponed. In the fourth administration, we have had a number of such requests and both the party and parliament agreed to their swearing in later. And we don’t think that must be linked to the position of the deputy president and the deputy president of the ANC; those are two different things. The fact that he’s the deputy president of the ANC is not a guarantee that he will be in the position of the deputy president of the Republic.”

Mabuza’s request was followed by that of ANC National Working Committee member, Nomvula Mokonyane. Mokonyane’s name is amongst those handed over to the party’s Integrity Commission.

However, the reasons cited for her no-show are said to be cultural. ANC Chief Whip, Pemmy Majodina, says that Mokonyane is grieving.

“Comrade Mokonyane, you know that she’s grieving at the moment. There are certain rituals and traditional practices that she is supposed to undertake. I know I have been informed that she will not be in today, but the arrangement will be made for a later swearing in.”

The ANC has since announced that Mokonyane will be redeployed to Luthuli House due to family responsibilities after she requested that her name be withdrawn the MP list.

Mabuza has been named in number of scandals, including allegations of being behind political killings in Mpumalanga.

Analyst Thokozani Chilenga-Butao says there is more to his decision than meets the eye.

“If you remember last year (2018) when he was questioned in parliament and asked about the allegations of corruption in Mpumalanga; he said ‘if you have a case against me, go to the police.’ And now the ANC integrity commission says: ‘hey here we are but not the police. But you will answer to these allegations.’ Now it’s interesting that he’s willing to be subjected to that committee and we have to ask who is bringing down that heavy hand.”

The swearing-in ceremony also saw the absence of former National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and former cabinet minister Malusi Gigaba. The two are said to have opted to decline their nomination as MPs.