Mabuza – man of the mo­ment

As DD pon­ders ANC pres­i­den­tial choices, in­di­ca­tions are that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the fron­trun­ner

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

The ANC in Mpumalanga has un­til now kept the name of its pre­ferred pres­i­den­tial can­di­date close to its chest, but in­di­ca­tions are that for­mer African Union Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the fron­trun­ner. Mpumalanga ANC chair­per­son Premier David Mabuza ap­pears to be sit­ting pretty on who he should sup­port as the next pres­i­dent, as all the slates, bar for­mer ANC trea­surer-gen­eral Mathews Phosa’s, have him ei­ther as deputy pres­i­dent or in one of the other top six po­si­tions.

Mabuza’s talk of pri­ori­tis­ing ANC unity above jostling for po­si­tions and reach­ing out to es­tranged com­rades seems 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.

The re­sults of Mpumalanga’s re­gional elec­tive con­fer­ences in Eh­lanzeni (Mbombela), Nkan­gala (Mid­del­burg), Gert Sibande (Ermelo) and Bohla­bela (Bush­buck­ridge) last week­end saw all of Mabuza’s staunch sup­port­ers re­tained in those ex­ec­u­tives.

This con­firms that the ANC’s Mpumalanga struc­tures and leagues are still un­wa­ver­ing in their cam­paign for his elec­tion as deputy pres­i­dent of the ANC in De­cem­ber – 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 ANC provin­cial sec­re­tary Mandla Ndlovu.

Ac­cord­ing to in­sid­ers, Mabuza has been meet­ing both can­di­dates and has also not made up his mind. How­ever, that the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has kick-started his deputy pres­i­dency cam­paign and its en­dorse­ment of Dlamini-Zuma’s can­di­dacy sug­gest that he may have been con­vinced to fol­low suit.

Ini­tially, ac­cord­ing to a Mabuza cam­paigner, the premier was not keen on sup­port­ing ei­ther DlaminiZuma or Ramaphosa be­cause that would go against his gospel of unity and dec­i­ma­tion of fac­tions.

Mabuza has said that he would have pre­ferred for the branches to agree on lead­er­ship and avoid con­tes­ta­tion in the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence that may split the ANC.

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 strongly 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 [Umkhonto weSizwe Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion] and the [ANC Women’s League] have said,” Ndlovu said.

The leagues have al­ready pro­nounced DlaminiZuma 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 had not yet en­gaged with the PEC about its de­ci­sion to sup­port Dlamini-Zuma to suc­ceed Pres­i­dent Zuma.

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

The SA Com­mu­nist Party (SACP) in Mpumalanga in­di­cated that it was still not in favour of the elec­tion of any­one who had been linked to the so­called Premier League.

“There’s no Mpumalanga al­liance po­si­tion on the pres­i­dency. We don’t in­volve our­selves in 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.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

WANTED MAN David Mabuza has been meet­ing with can­di­dates

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