Reports: David Mabuza ‘not willing’ to be SA deputy president

Cyril Ramaphosa will be inaugurated the President of the 6th South African government since democracy was achieved in 1994 and he will then appoint his cabinet.


ANC deputy president David ‘DD’ Mabuza is reportedly not willing to go to the Union Buildings to be SA’s deputy president when President Cyril Ramaphosa is inaugurated and appoint his cabinet in a few days’ time. 

The Sunday Times reports that Mabuza cites reasons such as ill-health and the need to “strengthen” the ANC as his reluctance to lead government. 

Sources quoted in the paper said that the Mpumalanga strongman is part of a deal that is being secretly brokered and which will see him remaining in the ANC’s headquarters in central Johannesburg – with national treasurer Paul Mashatile becoming South Africa’s deputy president.

NEC member Nkenke Kekana will aid the Mashatile-Mabuza deal, according to the paper. 

Both Mabuza and the Gauteng strongman are believed to be close friends and that the top 6 of the ANC is divided into three groups – chairman Gwede Mantashe is with Ramaphosa, secretary Ace Magashule is with his deputy Jessie Duarte and then Mabuza is with Mashatile.

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Highly-placed sources quoted in the national weekly said Mabuza is so unwilling to go back to the Union Buildings in Tshwane and is preferring to rather consolidate his power base in the ANC, especially here in Mpumalanga. 

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Also health concerns are cited as a reason Mabuza prefers to operate from ANC offices.

The paper quotes a long-serving NEC member who says that he had heard about Mabuza’s intention to not go back to the Union Buildings after his appointment last year February, following the forced resignation of then President Jacob Zuma on 14 February 2018.

Ramaphosa will be inaugurated the President of the 6th administration of South Africa at the Loftus Versfeld stadium on 25 May 2019 following the IEC’s declaration of the ANC as the winner of the 8 May 2019 general elections.

He will then appoint his cabinet but the seat of deputy president features high in conversation of people within the ANC and business circles. 

Ramaphosa is also seen by others as unwilling to work with Mabuza and will rather prefer to work with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as part of neutralising or “attracting” the KZN bloc, a province that is anti-Ramaphosa and Zuma’s stronghold. 



When Ramaphosa goes to government that will allow Zuma forces opposed to him like North West chair Supra Mahumapelo to prepare the ground and meet him in the future.  

Both Mabuza and Mashatile, who are not with Zuma, are said to be also working the ground in order to snatch power from Ramaphosa by infiltrating both his and Zuma’s support bases.  

“The third way that they presented before Nasrec has not died,” the source told the Sunday Times. 

“They feel they can still take over the presidency. They are just getting into a battle they won’t win. The high levels of confidence in [Ramaphosa] will make it impossible to remove him at an ANC conference,” said the source. 

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An internal ANC document has recommended that Mabuza should not serve in Parliament following a cry by the public that he is an allegedly corrupt man. 

Two more sources in the national executive committee of the party told the Sunday Times that they were aware that Mabuza did not want to return to the cabinet, citing ill-health and a desire to “strengthen Luthuli House”.

Another source said Mabuza had long wanted to leave the Union Buildings but wanted to do so on his own terms.

Mabuza’s spokesman Thami Ngwenya doesn’t comment on ANC matters, he said. 

Mashatile also didn’t answer sent questions. 

(edited by ZK) 

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