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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


Mabuza’s future uncertain, if not re-elected as deputy president at elective conference

Even the deputy president's own province of Mpumalanga is not behind him.


Although President Cyril Ramaphosa is almost guaranteed a second term after obtaining massive nominations, the political future of his deputy David Mabuza looks uncertain.

Mabuza’s options if not re-elected are limited.

David Mabuza’s future

He could be faced with either going into retirement, requesting an ambassadorial posting or endure the pain of being demoted to a ministerial position.

ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile is a popular choice for deputy president. This alone cuts Mabuza out of the running.

Analyst weighs in

Independent political analyst Goodenough Mashego said there was precedence to a deputy not being re-elected at the party’s national elective conference.

The first, according to Mashego, was Kgalema Motlanthe, who was former president Jacob Zuma’s deputy from 2007 to 2012.

Motlanthe and Mabuza

The difference between Motlanthe and Mabuza is that Motlanthe contested Zuma for the ANC presidency in Mangaung but lost, and Ramaphosa was elected as party deputy president.

“However, the difference between Mabuza and Motlanthe is that the latter contested the incumbent while the former is not contesting. But he is not contesting because he doesn’t have cheerleaders,” said Mashego.

ALSO READ: ANC presidency: Why there is less pressure for Ramaphosa this time around

Mpumalanga not behind Mabuza

“Mpumalanga is not behind him. So it’s hard to understand what Mabuza is being punished for by branches not nominating him.”

He said Mabuza not likely to be re-elected meant little to his political deployment fortunes.

“Motlanthe lost in Mangaung but was retained by Zuma until the 2014 general elections. I believe Mabuza will not be pushed or forced to jump, but will be allowed to finish his government term,” he said.

Mashego said he did not see Mashatile, who is the frontrunner for the post of ANC deputy president, sulking about “watching the game from the sidelines until 2024, even though he knew his party would return with a reduced majority”.

He added: “He will sit put in Mabuza’s 18 months so he can depart as an ANC elder. I don’t see the triumphant group humiliating him,” he said.

University of Mpumalanga political analyst Dr John Molepo said although the future of Mabuza looked uncertain, it was too early to come to any conclusion because nominations could come from the floor at the conference.

“He would indeed be a cat if he survives this one.

“If he is not re-elected, it would simply mean his political career would look dim and forced to go back to the province. And this may have serious implications to the province,” he said.

ALSO READ: Dumped by RET and Ramaphosa factions, Mabuza now finds himself in the political cold

– lungas@citizen.co.za