Mabuza man of the moment

2017-06-18 06:01
Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza.

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza. (Leon Sadiki)

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The ANC in Mpumalanga has until now kept its preferred presidential candidate close to its chest, but indications are that former African Union chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is the frontrunner.

Mpumalanga premier and ANC chairperson, David Mabuza, appears to be spoiled for choice on who he should support as the next president as all the slates, bar former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa’s one, list him either as deputy president or in one of the other top six positions.

Mabuza’s talk of prioritising unity of the ANC above jostling for positions and reaching out to estranged comrades seem to have earned him favour across all factions.

Moreover, the fact that he is the only top six contender with a province fully behind him, has made him the most wanted man by all.

Recent outcomes of Mpumalanga’s regional elective conferences in Ehlanzeni (Mbombela), Nkangala (Middelburg), Gert Sibande (Ermelo) and Bohlabelo (Bushbuckridge) last weekend retained all Mabuza’s staunch supporters in their executives.

This confirms that the ANC’s Mpumalanga structures and leagues are still unwavering in their campaign that he should be the deputy president of the ANC in December.

This is, in fact, a provincial executive committee (PEC) resolution taken two years ago.

Branches are still discussing who between Dlamini-Zuma and current deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, the province will rally behind, said provincial ANC secretary Mandla Ndlovu.

According to insiders, Mabuza has been meeting both candidates and has also not made up his mind.

However, the ANCYL kickstarted his deputy presidency campaign and its endorsement of Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy suggest that he may be convinced to follow suit.

“Both comrades are good and seasoned cadres"

Initially, according to a Mabuza campaigner, Mabuza was not keen to support either Dlamini-Zuma or Ramaphosa because that would defeat his gospel of unity and decimation of factions.

Mabuza has said that he would prefer that branches should agree on leadership and avoid contestation in the December elective conference that may split the ANC again such as the Polokwane and Managing conferences that led to the formation of the Congress of the People and Economic Freedom Fighters.

It may seem, however, that Mabuza does not hold such a view anymore and might support one of the two presidential candidates.

When asked for comment about the succession race, Ndlovu replied with an allegory that hinted that the PEC could support Dlamini-Zuma.

“We’re still having a conversation among ourselves as branches. We have a candidate but I can’t give you a name yet but we agree 80% with what the ANCYL, the MKMVA and the ANCWL have said”, Ndlovu said.

The leagues have already pronounced Dlamini-Zuma as their preferred candidate.

“Both comrades (Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa) are good and seasoned cadres. The tendency to judge Dlamini-Zuma on the current president (Jacob Zuma) is wrong”, Ndlovu said.

“Comrades are talking all over the country about who we support. They get it wrong, they don’t know Mpumalanga, and that means our comrades are disciplined”, he added.

ANCYL deputy president, Desmond Moela, said that the league has not yet engaged the PEC about its decision to support Dlamini-Zuma to succeed President Jacob Zuma.

“We took our decision after serious deliberations and we will be engaging Mpumalanga very soon about our decision and to lobby them to agree with us”, Moela said.

The SACP in Mpumalanga indicated that it was still not in favour of anyone who has been linked to the so-called Premier League to be elected into leadership positions of the ANC.

“There’s no Mpumalanga alliance position on the presidency.

"We don’t involve ourselves on their choice, but if it’s the Premier League … no.

"They’re corrupt to the core and captured by the Guptas”, said SACP provincial secretary, Bonakele Majuba.

Read more on:    anc  |  nkosazana dlamini-zuma  |  david mabuza

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