Mabuza, economic transformation, hitmen: Mpumalanga’s year ahead

David Mabuza after the results announcement at the ANC National Conference at Nasrec south of Johannesburg. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/Rapport
David Mabuza after the results announcement at the ANC National Conference at Nasrec south of Johannesburg. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/Rapport

David Mabuza:

The focus is set to be in Mpumalanga this year as far as ANC politics is concerned.

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza’s election as ANC deputy president has much to do with this. Mabuza sprang a surprise while most people thought that the burden he carries of massive allegations of corruption in his government and political killings would thwart his chances.

It is however noteworthy that Mabuza has never been charged or found guilty of any of the allegations that have followed him since he became a premier in 2009.

After his election, Mabuza will stand down as provincial ANC chairperson. He may remain a premier until his term expires in 2019, but that will depend on whether President Jacob Zuma is recalled or not.

Mpumalanga ANC is now bracing itself to elect a new leader following Mabuza’s nine-year reign as chairperson. 

ANC members – those in Mabuza’s camp – are lobbying for Mpumalanga Safety and Security MEC Pat Ngomana to succeed him. Other members want provincial cooperative and traditional affairs head, Peter Nyoni, to take over and City of Mbombela speaker Mandla Msibi is also in the race.

Provincial ANC secretary Mandla Ndlovu said a special provincial general council will be convened early next year.

The deputy chairperson’s position is also up for grabs after Violet Siwela was elected into the national executive committee.

Political killings:

Nothing major is likely to happen about unresolved political assassinations case in 2018.

January will mark nine years since former City of Mbombela speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, was fatally shot at his home in KaNyamazane. Mohlala was blowing the whistle on tenders corruption on the R1.2 billion Fifa World Cup stadium when he met his untimely death.

The second case of former Mpumalanga Department Culture, Sport and Recreation spokesperson Sammy Mpatlanyana was also not resolved.

Mpatlanyana was shot dead in January 2010 at his house in Stonehenge, Mbombela. Details on the motive to kill him are still sketchy.

Economic transformation:

A new organisation, Practical Radical Economic Transformation (Pret), is likely to push harder in 2018 following a few gains this year.

Pret has been marching to private companies such as Sasol, Eskom and RCL Foods —forcing them to open up business and employment opportunities for the province’s unemployed youths.

The organisation started in Emalahleni but has been growing in all the province’s regions. Endorsed by Mabuza, it has also been getting his administration’s support.

Pret’s president Themba Sigudla says the organisation wants to build millionaires and ensure the employment of as many young people as possible. Sigudla claims that 250 000 jobs were created so far through Pret’s efforts.

The downside is that Pret may be under attack. It’s secretary Sunday Mathebula survived a hail of bullets in December. The motive is unknown and police are investigating.

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