David Mabuza fishing in RET waters

David Mabuza fishing in RET waters
THREE HORSE RACE: Deputy president DD Mabuza(L) who is looking to retain a second term as Ramaphosa's second in charge will be forced to go up against his protégé Ronald Lamola while his once known ally Paul Mashatile also has his eyes set on the post. ILLUSTRATIVE GRAPHIC BY 013NEWS/News24/GCIS/eNCA

Looks like the battle will ultimately be a two-way race between Lamola and Mabuza as Mashatile battles to get his numbers in order.

Deputy president David Mabuza is currently courting the ANC’s RET camp to support him once more as the second-in-command come December 2022.

The RET camp in Mpumalanga is led by the influential Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, the party’s provincial deputy secretary – while the party’s soft-spoken provincial chairman Mandla Ndlovu is pumping support for justice minister Ronald Lamola to contest Mabuza and be President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assistant at the ANC’s 55th national conference.

Ntshalintshali, provincial treasurer Mandla Msibi and North West ANC leader Supra Mahumapelo attended the funeral of Mabuza’s aunt Gogo Ndana over the weekend in Phola, Mbombela.

The post of deputy president also sees treasurer-general Paul Mashatile as a possible contender in December however he needs to get his numbers in order after he was endorsed by certain comrades in Limpopo to become second-in-command.

Mashatile is currently pinning his hope on any faction that doesn’t want Mabuza or Lamola to nominate him for the deputy seat.

ALSO SEE: Ronald Lamola begins ANC deputy president campaign in Mpumalanga

Both Mabuza and Lamola are from the Mpumalanga province and Mpumalanga looks set for new divisions as both wrestle for the deputy president post. But the RET camp doesn’t want Lamola and would rather prefer Mabuza, lobbyists have said.

David Mabuza fishing in RET waters
Mpumalanga ANC deputy secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali who leads the province’s RET battles from the front. PIC Lowvelder

Ramaphosa’s ally provincial chairman Mandla Ndlovu who had acted as chairperson since Mabuza left in December 2017 and the RET’s Lindiwe Ntshalintshali who had acted as secretary look set to get on each other’s throats over favoured candidates in the Top 6 in December 2022.

ALSO SEE: Mandla Ndlovu undermining ANC branches with endorsement of Cyril Ramaphosa on stage – Lindiwe Ntshalintshali

The Mpumalanga ANC Top 5 appears to be divided into atleast two groups – the first camp is that of Ndlovu and his deputy Speedy Mashilo who support Ramaphosa and Lamola while Ntshalintshali and suspended provincial treasurer Mandla Msibi lead the RET camp that Mabuza is currently courting…

It’s still not clear which side of the battle provincial secretary Muzi Chirwa is with but his influential allies in the ANCYL like provincial convener Thulasizwe Thomo are currently hard at work mobilising for Lamola to take over the ANC’s second most powerful position.

“The branches will pronounce,” Ntshalintshali told mourners at Gogo Ndana Mabuza’s funeral. “I don’t know about those who don’t have branches but who want to emerge,” she continued to thunderous applause, in what others interpreted as a reference to Lamola.

She then turned and looked at Mabuza, only to say: “We did discuss with you deputy president and you know we have an appointment with you,” she said, adding that once the time comes Mpumalanga will pronounce.

“As Mpumalanga, the position of deputy president is our position and Mabuza is our own,” she continued.

David Mabuza fishing in RET waters
ANC deputy president David Mabuza who could emerge once more on an RET ticket come December. PIC News24

But it remains to be seen if the KZN province will support Mabuza’s ambition for re-election after he betrayed former President Jacob Zuma at the 54th national conference in Nasrec – switching sides and supporting Ramaphosa at the 11th hour.

ALSO SEE: ANCYL wants review of step-aside policy to assess “its impact in our society”

With all of his allies from the Ngci camp in attendance, Mabuza addressed the funeral and thanked all those comrades who had gathered to support him as he laid his aunt to rest.

Amongst the top 5, only Ntshalintshali and Msibi attended – also Mabuza’s school time friends education deputy minister Reginah Mhaule and NEC member Cadith Mashego-Dlamini came.

Addressing supporters on an ANC staged truck after funeral, Mabuza said: “If some of us don’t get elected or the people we want don’t get elected the ANC as a movement must continue. Let’s not be angry and say we will leave the ANC. The organisation must continue and must remain as it is”.

Mahumapelo also addressed and called on the upcoming December leadership to do anything in its power to unite comrades.

“My plea to you deputy president, I know that you sit in the top 6 of the ANC, is that in North West we want unity so that when we go to the provincial conference we don’t contest each other and we emerge with one outcome”.

Mahumapelo wants to return as the chair of North West on an RET ticket.

(edited by ZK)
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