Mpumalanga’s ANC Youth League has asked the premier and chairperson of the ANC in the province, David “DD” Mabuza, to step down to allow his political “rivals” to succeed him during the provincial elective conference due to take place this month.
Mabuza was elected provincial chairperson at the party’s 2008 elective conference in Nelspruit.
Should Mabuza remain for a second term it will ultimately help secure support for President Jacob Zuma’s bid for a second term at the elective conference in Mangaung in December.
But the spokesperson for the provincial youth league, Clarence Maseko, said the decision had nothing to do with Zuma and everything to do with Mabuza.
“We are not having succession talks yet. We will deal with that issue when the time is right.”
Mabuza has been caught in a bitter battle with the youth league after a fallout with its suspended president, Julius Malema, and his deputy, Ronald Lamola, who was formerly Mabuza’s spokesperson. Lamola is earmarked to take over from Malema should the latter fail to have his suspension overturned. Malema faces a five-year suspension for sowing division in the ANC and bringing the party into disrepute.
Maseko told the Mail & Guardian that the youth league was not supporting Mabuza and would fight until the “bitter end” to have him axed during the conference. Maseko argued that the auditor general’s report had revealed that 80% of tenders awarded in Mpumalanga were issued fraudulently.
“There is a book of reasons why he should not get a second term. Since he took over the Mpumalanga administration, the province has been in the media for all the wrong reasons,” he said.
Mpumalanga’s ANC spokesperson, Paul Mbenyane, said the party was surprised by the youth league’s claims and insisted the province supported Mabuza as provincial chairperson.
“We respect the youth league’s right to opinion, but such issues should be discussed in the organisation. We dispute the allegations they have made and we won’t entertain allegations without substance.”