Analysis  >  Friday Briefing: David Mabuza – The dark horse playing a long game

PRETORIA, SOUTPH AFRICA â?? MAY 09: David Mabuza o


Unity wins the day

When the ANC in Mpumalanga met in Mbombela early in December 2017 to vote on their nomination for the top leadership of the party, the majority of the province's branches nominated a mysterious candidate called "unity" for the presidency of the ANC.

The electoral agency counted the votes as abstentions and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma resultantly won the provincial nomination for president. David Mabuza, provincial chairperson at the time, was nominated as deputy president. 'The Cat' was reported as saying that "unity" was the will of the branches and should not have been regarded as abstentions. His province backed him, and in so doing set him up to be kingmaker at the very last moment at the ANC's electoral conference.

Mabuza's reward for subsequently making Ramaphosa king has been the deputy presidency of the country, leaving him poised to take over the highest office in the land from Ramaphosa. But serious allegations against the deputy president still abound, including allegations of murder and corruption. If proven true, it could mean South Africa has just elected a very dangerous man to the second-most influential office in the country. 

This week in Friday Briefing, investigative journalist Kyle Cowan digs into the allegations against Mabuza, all the way back to his time as MEC for Education. News24 columnist Mpumelelo Mkhabela dissects the strategy behind President Ramaphosa's Cabinet choices and assistant-editor for in-depth news Pieter du Toit looks at some of the challenges that remain for the president. 

News24 Opinions Editor

Alet Janse van Rensburg

PRETORIA, SOUTPH AFRICA â?? MAY 09: David Mabuza o



'The Cat' has slipped the noose time and again, shrugging off allegations against him. But question marks remain over a man who the ANC's integrity commission identified as a member who may have brought the party into disrepute.In an open letter addressed to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday, hours before he announced his new Cabinet and David Mabuza as his deputy, lawyers urged Ramaphosa to reconsider Mabuza's appointment. 

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 18: Cyril Ra

Mpumelelo Mkhabela

Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to be a consensus president. The lengthy consultation processes within the ANC and its alliance partners – Cosatu and the SACP – ahead of the Cabinet announcement suggests this. As a result, Ramaphosa's Cabinet is likely to have more supporters than detractors within the ANC and the alliance. That is good for political stability. For now.

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA â?? DECEMBER 06: Public


Gordhan's retention in Cabinet a sign of intent, but challenges remain

Pieter du Toit

When Cyril Ramaphosa became president in February last year the message was that he will use the remaining months of the Zuma government to review policy, prepare the foundations of his own administration and ensure that he gets to appoint the people he wants to in his first Cabinet.

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