The South African Presidency on Monday refuted media reports that a plan is being worked out to appoint a second deputy president in the country.
"The Presidency wishes to correct a media report by Sunday Times newspaper quoting unnamed sources claiming the possibility of two Deputy Presidents of the Republic," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement. Such reports were misleading, Maharaj said.
The report claimed that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is engaged in "sensitive discussions" to create a second deputy president position and re-deploy the party's national chairperson Baleka Mbete to this post.
Mbete was the country's deputy president for seven months after former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled and his deputy, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, resigned.
Maharaj said having only one deputy president is in accordance with South Africa's Constitution. "The Constitution therefore states unequivocally that the Republic of South Africa shall have one Deputy President only," said Maharaj.
The reports about appointing a second deputy president have caused an outcry and prompted political analysts to wonder if South Africa should add to its "bloated" cabinet.
"South Africa does not need at all another expansion of Cabinet, " political analyst from the University of South Africa, Professor Shadrack Gutto, said in published remarks. "It's bloated; it's so large that it is dysfunctional. Sometimes people don't even know what they are supposed to be doing."