News 20.2.2018 05:08 am

Mabuza will be deputy president, say sources

Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: Gallo Images

Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: Gallo Images

Sources within the ANC NEC say Mabuza will be sworn in along with other members after a Cabinet reshuffle, probably at the weekend.

ANC deputy president and outgoing Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza is set to become the deputy president of the country, The Citizen has been reliably informed.

Mabuza is to fill the vacancy left by Cyril Ramaphosa who has become the country’s fifth democratic president.

Sources within the ANC NEC said Mabuza would make his farewell state of the province address in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on Friday.

He would be sworn in along with other members to be named by Ramaphosa after an imminent Cabinet reshuffle, probably at the weekend.

“It’s a done deal. DD is going to make his last Sopa on Friday. We know that he would like a female to replace him as premier,” the source said.

It is understood that Mabuza would like to see either Cooperative Governance MEC Refilwe Mtsweni or Education MEC Reginah Mhaule replace him as premier until the 2019 elections.

Mabuza, a previous staunch follower of then president Jacob Zuma, was regarded as a “kingmaker” at the ANC national conference in Nasrec last December because of his massive following and influence within the ANC structures in the Mpumalanga province.

Before he was elected as ANC deputy president in December, he personally controlled Mpumalanga votes, which he dangled in front of the presidential hopefuls, Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to lure them to adopt unity in the ANC instead of contesting each other on a factional basis.

Amid pre-conference claims by the Dlamini-Zuma camp that he was on their side, Mabuza kept his cards close to his chest until the last moment when he decided to donate his crucial ANC “unity” votes from Mpumalanga branches to Ramaphosa.

This elevated Ramaphosa to the ANC presidency.

Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters felt betrayed by Mabuza’s decision.

But the former Mpumalanga politician never personally indicated his preference for Dlamini-Zuma as he believed that she did not have the capacity to win the national elections in 2019.

For the ANC deputy president position, Mabuza defeated Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu by a large margin.

According to the sources, Sisulu was likely to be redeployed to another Cabinet position or remain in human settlements, a position she held twice under Zuma.

In Mpumalanga, the contest over Mabuza’s replacement as ANC provincial chairperson has gained momentum.

Four candidates – Fish Mahlalela, David Dube, Peter Nyoni and Mandla Ndlovu – are vying for the chairperson position. Ndlovu is currently acting in the position until the ANC elective provincial general council in April.

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