David Mabuza confirms his resignation: 'I am making space for the one elected at conference'

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David Mabuza and Cyril Ramaphosa.
David Mabuza and Cyril Ramaphosa.
Elizabeth Sejake/Rapport
  • Deputy president David Mabuza has spoken publicly of his desire to resign as deputy president of the country. 
  • Mabuza, was who was not re-elected for a second term as ANC deputy president, says he has to make space for his replacement, Paul Mashatile. 
  • Mashatile is expected to be sworn-in as an ANC member of Parliament on Monday, and his appointment as the country's deputy president is widely expected in the coming days. 

Deputy president David Mabuza believes it is logical that he resigns as the country's second in command to make space for Paul Mashatile, who was elected ANC deputy president at the party's December conference. 

Mabuza spoke for the first time publicly on Saturday at a family funeral in Mpumalanga, telling congregants that he had informed President Cyril Ramaphosa that he has resigned as deputy president of the country. 

Mabuza said he has to make space for Mashatile because he was elected to the conference. He also confirmed that he had spoken to Ramaphosa about his resignation and the two had an agreement that he would resign.

"I am making space for the one elected at the conference because I can see he (Mashatile) is also making a few moves. So now I am also in a rush to give them space. I spoke to the president and told him I would step down," Mabuza said on Saturday.

"The president will say that Mabuza has resigned. He (Ramaphosa) and I had an agreement. I said I would respect the president until I leave, so I have left and I think those left will  continue to respect him. 

Mashatile was elected at the ANC national conference in December, which immediately brought assumptions of an impending Cabinet reshuffle. The ANC prefers aligning its political leaders with government deployments, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula previously said.

Mabuza had, for the past weeks, removed himself from government and political ANC gatherings. 

He was not present at the ANC's 8 January celebrations in Bloemfontein, nor was he present at an ANC national executive committee lekgotla. 

On Thursday, he sent an apology citing his family funeral as the reason he could not attend a two-day Cabinet lekgotla at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.

READ | David Mabuza absent from Cabinet lekgotla due to family bereavement, says his office

Mabuza's public confirmation of his desire to depart the presidency follows a series of political events which saw Mashatile confirmed as an ANC member of Parliament.

The ANC deputy president is expected to be sworn in on Monday in Cape Town. 

At least four ANC MPs have resigned since the ANC began making changes to its Parliament lists. The resignations affected provincial legislatures in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. These changes were seen as a move to help get Mashatile and other ANC MPs to Parliament. 

The swearing-in ceremony of the new MPs was expected to be accompanied by Ramaphosa's announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle.

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