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The province is currently struggling to hold a PGC that will elect his successor.
ANC deputy president DD Mabuza promised three leaders that they would replace him during the time there was a furore over former President Jacob Zuma’s fate as the country’s president, two insiders have said.
The sources said Mabuza attended his last provincial executive committee meeting of the ANC in the Mpumalanga province early this year and in it he told PEC member Fish Mahlalela that he “will take this thing”.
“It’s yours. Take it,” said one of the sources, referring to the provincial chairmanship position that Mabuza left when he got elected the deputy president on 18 December 2017.
“He told him he wanted somebody who is disciplined and who would be the beacon of hope for the masses of the people and who would maintain stability and keep the unity of the movement,” the source told the 013NEWS reporter.
Later on, Mabuza told Peter Nyoni, who is co-operative governance head, to “prepare himself” as he was leaving him the position, the source said.
“He basically told Nyoni same thing,” the source said.
Mabuza was elected the deputy president during a national elective congress at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Soweto.
On 27 February 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed him the country’s deputy president.
Ramaphosa – who was himself the country’s deputy president and who was elected ANC President in the same Nasrec conference – was elected by Parliament on 15 February 2018 to replace Zuma who was forced to resign on the night of 14 February.
The source said it was during this time of the commotion around Zuma’s fate that Mahlalela and Nyoni got to be promised the Mpumalanga ANC chair seat.
“Then a week later Mabuza delivered the state of the province address at the legislature and then told crowds afterwards that Mandla Ndlovu should take the position,” the insider said.
Mahlalela confirmed on Friday midday that he was promised the position and that Mabuza “just said it in passing”.
“I don’t think he really meant it because subsequently to that he publicly endorsed comrade Mandla [Ndlovu]. It was during a PEC meeting in January and he said this thing in front of everybody that he was leaving the position to me but I think he was just saying it in passing,” Mahlalela said over the phone.
Nyoni said there was no way Mabuza would have wanted him to be his successor “because of my struggles in the ANC”.
“That is that an impression created. First of all that is not the proper way of getting a successor. You can’t say to me I will be your successor, only the branches can say that,” nyoni said on Thursday afternoon.
He said the only time he discussed ANC matters with Mabuza was two years ago and they spoke about factionalism, gate-keeping and the need to unite the ANC.
“I’m not his favoured candidate and never was,” Nyoni said.
The province previously had Pat Ngomane, a close friend of Mabuza who hails from his home region of eHlanzeni, poised for the position but a powerful lobby group aligned to the deputy president now wants Ngomane to be the secretary, Ndlovu the chair and Nkangala leader Speedy Mashilo the deputy chair.
Provincial spokeswoman Sasekani Manzini had also been punted amongst those who should succeed Mabuza as well as controversial Mbombela speaker Mandla Msibi, Charles Makola, Mahlalela, Ndlovu, Nyoni and David Dube who are also jostling for the seat.
(edited by ZK)
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