David Mabuza on path to national office

2015-03-29 15:00

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Mpumalanga premier said to be eyeing ANC’s deputy presidency position

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s campaign to become part of the ANC’s top six began in earnest this weekend when delegates ­resolved to keep him as provincial chairperson for a third term.

The Mpumalanga ANC provincial general council resolved that Mabuza should be re-elected and that the provincial elective conference must take place before the 2016 local government elections.

Considering that Mabuza has the full backing of all the regional executive committees – who have been lobbying branches since last year – it is clear he will win the next conference, from which he can launch his national leadership campaign.

Word is that Mabuza is eyeing the deputy presidency, but if that fails, he may settle for the chairperson or treasurer-general positions.

This resolution comes in the week his rivals launched their boldest campaign against him, called Operation Save Mpumalanga ANC. It is also a few weeks since ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe appointed a task team of veterans to investigate tensions between the ANC and the SA Communist Party in the province.

The campaign will, according to leader Sipho Monareng, mobilise ANC structures against the ­subversion of internal democratic processes, rigging of conferences, stifling of debates and membership fraud, which have allegedly taken root under Mabuza’s reign.

Mabuza confirmed to the provincial general council on Friday that he was available for ­another term.

If elected, Mabuza will lead the ANC until his term as premier lapses in 2019.

“I see you’re raising three fingers, and this is what perturbs the [Operation Save Mpumalanga ANC] people who were talking on radio stations this week. I’m observant?…?you’re saying I must come back. If you say so, your wish must be granted,” he said.

But Mabuza tried to play down his national leadership ambitions.

He told City Press he would accept any national position and it was up to the ANC to decide.

“When I look at the national leaders?…?the programme of the president and deputy president?…?they work too much.

“Having worked with these people, I see they don’t sleep. They have no freedom. [National office] is not something I want; it can just find me,” ­Mabuza said.

“But people of this province who say ‘stop him because he wants to be deputy president’ are causing me a problem.”

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