South Africans will know in next two weeks if Mabuza is still their deputy president, Mbalula vows

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Deputy President David Mabuza.
Deputy President David Mabuza.
Alfonso Nqunjana
  • The ANC will clarify in two weeks whether David Mabuza will continue as deputy president. 
  • Mabuza was replaced as the ANC's deputy president by Paul Mashatile in last month's conference.
  • According to ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, party leaders are "applying their minds" to the matter. 

In the next two weeks, the ANC will clarify whether David Mabuza will continue in his role as the country's deputy president, despite losing out to Paul Mashatile as party deputy president last month. 

This was confirmed by newly elected ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula on Thursday morning. 

Mbalula was addressing the media at the Imvelo Safari Lodge, about 5km from Bloemfontein, where the ANC is wrapping up its hybrid 55th national elective conference, which the party failed to conclude in December. 

"What I can tell you right now is that we are seized with these matters [deliberating on whether to reshuffle Cabinet or not following some ministers not making it onto the new national executive committee]. In the next two weeks, not five years, we will be able to give you an answer."

He said that the newly elected ANC officials "will apply their minds on the matter".

Mbalula said: 

In the next couple of weeks we will tell you whether or not we want to make changes given that the deputy president is no longer the deputy president of the ANC.

He said that he would not elaborate further as he did not want to mislead the public before the ANC takes a position. 

"The president is also looking at the issue of replacement in Cabinet. So in the next week after this national elective conference, we are hard at work in terms of the new restructuring."

Mabuza, whose support in the party has dwindled, declined his nomination from the floor, which cleared the way for Mashatile, who defeated Ronald Lamola and Eastern Cape ANC chairperson Oscar Mabuyane. 

Besides Mabuza, five ministers - Thulas Nxesi, Nkoane Maite-Mashabane, Naledi Pandor, Blade Nzimande, and Pravin Gordhan - were also not voted back onto the NEC. 

READ | The political year ahead: Cabinet shake-up, DA leadership race, and the scramble to win votes

At least four deputy ministers also did not make it back onto the NEC. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa opened the second session of the ANC's national elective conference on Thursday morning after it was adjourned last month, following severe delays that led to the programme not being completed.

The second phase of the conference also suffered from a few delays as proceedings started two and a half hours late at 10:30. 

Mbalula explained that the delays were due to delegates from the Western Cape struggling to connect. 

He said the challenges had been resolved, and that the conference was now proceeding without any glitches. 

Mbalula emphasised that while the first sitting of the conference had focused on electing leaders, the second session should focus on matters affecting South Africans. 

"The second leg should be dealing with matters affecting our people such as Eskom and other matters as we are done with electing leaders."

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