He celebrated his 57th birthday with a gala dinner at one of Mpumalanga’s affluent resorts.
ANC provincial leader David Mabuza is someone who is sure that he will be elected into the ANC’s top 6 in December.
Mabuza celebrated his 57th birthday at the Ingwenyama resort in White River, Mbombela on Friday night, where he told the businesspeople, politicians, professionals and students who attended the gala dinner that he was now on his way to Luthuli House.
The DD Mabuza Foundation organised the gala dinner, raising R10m from those in attendance.
Earlier, those who attended the event were played a video showing people across the province giving testimonies of how in the past three years the DD Mabuza Foundation assisted them, building them homes and taking their kids to universities.
Most of the students will graduate at the end of this year.
Their parents said they wished the foundation grow and continue to help others.
When he took to the podium, Mabuza told the gathering that when he goes up to form part of the ANC’s top 6, the foundation should not close.
“I’m left with almost a year or so now in this province,” he said.
“I’ve served my time in this province with you, now it’s time I see others,” he told the gathering.
“But wherever I’ll be, the foundation should not close,” he said to applause.
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Mabuza has been nominated by the ANCYL, ANCWL and MKMVA to serve as the ANC’s next deputy president when the ANC holds an elective national congress in December 2017.
Mabuza has been keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to the ANC succession race, not revealing who he supports or whether he truly wants to be deputy, only calling for unity and warning individual leaders against campaigning before the succession debate is officially opened in September 2017.
But others have said that Mabuza is eyeing the position of president, with his businessman friend, Robert Gumede, and art and culture MEC Norah Mahlangu as well as ANCYL president Desmond Moela publicly saying that the man should be president.
Mabuza, who is also Premier, told those who attended the gala dinner on Friday that in the past few years his government built boarding schools for children living in remote rural areas.
He said all that he wants to see is young people getting educated because through education they will “be separated with poverty”.
He thanked the businesspeople who pumped money into the foundation, saying it was not Mabuza but them who were helping the 100 university kids the foundation financially supports in 14 universities.
He said by “investing in people, you are saving a nation”.
“You can see that you’re changing lives,” he told donors sitting on the tables.
“It’s not me. Without you the work of the foundation will be difficult,” he said.
“They say those who give are blessed. Today you’re blessed and to the students, I’m very proud of you,” he said after the businesspeople raised up to R10m.
Mabuza said those students which the foundation has dumped because they flunked out their subjects will have to be given a second chance.
“I’m sure all of you here have been given a second chance sometime in your life. Let’s take them again,” he said to applause.
Businesspeople like transport mogul Norah Fakude and Professor John Shongwe and politicians such as Mandla Ndlovu, David Mahlobo, Ronald Lamola, Pat Ngomane, Sasekani Manzini, Thulare Madileng, Sibusiso Mathonsi, Nathaniel Mashile as well as Miss Mpumalanga Geraldine Williams were amongst those who attended Mabuza’s 57th birthday celebration at the Ingwenyama resort.
Jazz icon Dorothy Masuka rocked the stage with her classic struggle songs into the late hours of the night,.
(edited by ZK)
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