Sparks fly over JZ wedding gift

Mpumalanga “premier-in-waiting” David “DD” Mabuza has been accused by fellow ANC members of “buying” the premiership by donating R400 000 towards the wedding of ANC president Jacob Zuma last year.

Former Mpumalanga ANC Youth League boss and ANC treasurer James Nkambule has launched a scathing attack on the newly elected ANC provincial leadership for sowing divisions within the party in the province. Nkambule is the man who signed a letter in 2002 accusing Mathews Phosa, Cyril Ramaphosa and Tokyo Sexwale of plotting a coup against then president Thabo Mbeki.

He is now a close ally of Phosa, who, when premier of Mpumulanga, fired Mabuza for alleged corruption.

Mabuza will become Mpumalanga premier if a Polokwane resolution that favours provincial chairpersons as premiers is implemented.

In a hard-hitting letter written to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, dated November 18 last year, Nkambule accuses Mabuza of using his financial success as a route to the premiership.

He claims Mabuza made a payment of R400 000 to sponsor Zuma’s traditional wedding in January last year.

Mabuza and his cronies are now using the payment to Zuma’s wedding as a ticket for him to become the province’s next premier, Nkambule claims.

“Further to the facts explained, they [Mabuza’s supporters] are now introducing cde [comrade] DD Mabuza as a premier elect of the province — in the process, abusing the name of the ANC president cde JZ, by openly telling those around them that DD bought the premiership when he paid R400 000 for the traditional wedding of the president.

“I accept that this they normally say when heavily intoxicated, but it cannot be an excuse for insulting the head of our organisation,” writes Nkabinde.

He also accuses Mabuza of purging political opponents in the ANC and imposing the names of his preferred candidates on the provincial ANC list for appointment to public office.

He warned that the state of affairs in the province could be catastrophic if the national ANC leadership did not intervene.

Mabuza was not available for comment. Although Nkambule told the Mail & Guardian this week that the ANC had acknowledged receipt of his letter Mantashe said he had not seen the letter.

When informed of the contents Mantashe refused to comment, saying he did not see any point in doing so if the letter was not open to the public.

“I believe organisational problems should be resolved internally and not through the media,” he said.

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo is the political editor of the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003 and has won numerous awards since then, including the regional award for Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the economics and finance category in 2015, SA Journalist of the Year in 2011, the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the Year award in 2008 and CNN African Journalist of the Year – MKO Abiola Print Journalism in 2004. Read more from Matuma Letsoalo

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