Mabuza for deputy president?

(Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

(Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

ANC deputy president David Mabuza looks set to take over as the country’s number two citizen after ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma declined the offer. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa told his fellow top six colleagues during a meeting on Friday he would announce the cabinet reshuffle after Wednesday’s cabinet meeting. Mabuza indicated during his state of the province address (SOPA) on Friday he would soon step down as Mpumalanga Premier sparking speculation he is going to take over as Ramaphosa’s deputy. 

Initially, Mabuza wanted Dlamini-Zuma appointed as Ramaphosa’s deputy until the end of his term as Premier in 2019. Some of Ramaphosa’s supporters are pushing for Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to replace him as the country’s deputy president but Mabuza’s supporters want him to take over now so that he can gain experience to prepare him for the highest office in the land in future. 

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Another name that is been mentioned in the corridors of power for the second most powerful position in land is that of Science & Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.
A special ANC national executive committee meeting this weekend is expected to elect heads of subcommittees as the party prepares to launch its election campaign ahead of next year’s general elections. 

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Ramaphosa’s supporters are pushing for former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu to take over as head of organising. The move is seen by the anti-Ramaphosa cabal within the ANC as a strategy to weaken party secretary general Ace Magashule who narrowly defeated Mchunu during the ANC’s 54th elective conference last December. Magashule supporters prefer North West provincial secretary and Dakota Legoete or Police Minister Fikile Mbalula for the position. 

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Legoete will vacate his provincial position at the end of March after he was elected ANC NEC and national working committee (NWC) member. As head of organising, Mchunu would among other things be responsible for membership audits which determine suitable candidates to participate during the party’s elective conferences at branch, regional, provincial and national levels.

Ramaphosa supporters also want former ANC spin doctor Zizi Kodwa to head the office of the president of the ANC at Luthuli House. Former ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize is tipped to head the new evaluation and monitoring department at Luthuli House. Enoch Godongwana, a close Ramaphosa ally is expected to retain his position as head of economic transformation, while Mbalula is likely to take over as head of elections and campaign.

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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