The businessman is reportedly a chief lobbyist for Mabuza’s campaigns for national office ahead of the ANC’s 54th congress.


Reports suggesting IT billionaire Robert Gumede is a chief lobbyist of Mpumalanga ANC chairman David Mabuza undermines the role of branches and portray the powerful Mpumalanga politician as someone who is in the pockets of business interests.

The ANC in the Mpumalanga province also says reports in a national daily newspaper this week suggesting Gumede is actually the one who prepared the video clip played for the thousands of ANC members who filled a huge tent erected outside the Mbombela stadium for the party’s “unique” special provincial council on Saturday is false.

This week the Sowetan newspaper reported that the businessman prepared the clip as part of his campaign as Mabuza’s lobbyist.

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“We call on all our members and structures of the ANC not to be derailed by newspaper articles,” provincial spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini said.

She said this “extremely undermines structures of our organisation, because it suggests that the agenda of the ANC is not set by our organisation and its leaders, but by private business interests”.

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Mabuza, a tried and tested leader, doesn’t need a lobbyist, Manzini said.

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“[Our members should not] be derailed by newspaper articles on our journey to unite the ANC and make it a stronger and efficient tool for the total economic and political liberation, of Africans in particular and blacks in general.

“We must continue to display the spirit of unity we displayed in the PGC and disappoint those who benefit from a divided ANC,” she said.

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(edited by ZK)

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