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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


‘There’s a bit of conflict between them, but Ramaphosa will appoint Mashatile’

Mashatile has served as the ANC treasurer-general and has also held several ministerial portfolios in the Gauteng government.


Paul Mashatile, the man touted to be South Africa’s new deputy president, may not bring anything different from the outgoing David Mabuza, according to analysts. Mabuza left office on Tuesday, ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s looming Cabinet reshuffle. Last month, at his brother’s funeral in Mpumalanga, Mabuza confirmed he had resigned, indicating he wanted to make way for Mashatile, the newly elected ANC deputy president and his ally. However, Ramaphosa had urged him to stay on until he had finalised all transition processes. Not only was Mabuza not re-elected at the ANC’s 55th conference in December, but he also no…

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Paul Mashatile, the man touted to be South Africa’s new deputy president, may not bring anything different from the outgoing David Mabuza, according to analysts.

Mabuza left office on Tuesday, ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s looming Cabinet reshuffle. Last month, at his brother’s funeral in Mpumalanga, Mabuza confirmed he had resigned, indicating he wanted to make way for Mashatile, the newly elected ANC deputy president and his ally.

However, Ramaphosa had urged him to stay on until he had finalised all transition processes. Not only was Mabuza not re-elected at the ANC’s 55th conference in December, but he also no longer occupied a seat in the party’s national executive committee, the highest decision-making body between conferences.

No miracles

According to political analyst Goodenough Mashego, Mabuza was more cognisant of what role the ANC and government might need him to play in the future, as had already been seen with former leaders.

“Mabuza is aware people were not deployed to be envoys when they were members of parliament or in government.

“Envoys are almost always largely people who have served in government and people who government believe have certain skills they can use outside of government, like helping in conflict zones and observing elections.”

ALSO READ: Mashatile accused of falsifying affidavit to mislead court into ruling in favour of ANC

While delays around the Cabinet reshuffle sparked rumours Mashatile was being blocked by Ramaphosa’s close allies – or that the president himself was not sure about him – ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula dismissed the talk, stating there was nothing untoward about the process surrounding the reshuffle.

On what Mashatile could bring to the table, Mashego said it was important to note this was not his first run in government. He has served as the ANC treasurer-general and acting ANC secretary-general. He has also held several ministerial portfolios in the Gauteng government.

ALSO READ: What you need to know about Paul Mashatile

Mashego said with Mashatile’s name once linked with controversial matters such as the drama around the Alexandra Renewal Project and the scandal of restaurant expenses, he had not come out really that clean. He said even in some of the portfolios he managed, he did not bring much of a difference.

“We cannot expect him to suddenly have gotten steroids and to be a deputy president that will do miracles,” he said.

Ramaphosa ‘will appoint’ Mashatile

For political analyst André Duvenhage, to say Mabuza had a low profile as deputy president would be an understatement because he was “literally under the radar throughout his term” and in many ways did not have a successful term.

He said Mabuza’s primary reason for leaving involved him not being part of the top seven initially and not being included in the ANC NEC structure.

“In that sense, it has now opened the door for Ramaphosa to make his moves and I definitely believe he will appoint Mashatile. But I do not think he is necessarily his number one choice,” he said.

ALSO READ: Cabinet reshuffle: President has tough task ahead

“I think there is a bit of conflict between Mashatile and Ramaphosa but he will appoint him because of the mandate coming from the ANC and Ramaphosa is not functioning outside of the mandate.”

Duvenhage said Mashatile had huge leadership aspirations and probably wanted to be the president of the country. Although Ramaphosa’s position was relatively successful at the conference, the Phala Phala farm controversy could change a lot of things.

– lungas@citizen.co.za

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