- ANC deputy president, David Mabuza, has hinted that he might become the country’s new deputy president
- Ever since President Cyril Ramaphosa replaced former president Jacob Zuma, speculation as to who will take his former job as the country’s deputy president has been rife
- Some have suggested Mabuza might feel he is owed the position due to his province’s support having assisted Ramaphosa’s narrow victor over Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the ANC elective conference
Who will be South Africa’s next deputy president is a burning question on many South Africans' minds.
Heading into the second week since the dramatic change of leadership of the party following former president Jacob Zuma’s late-night mid-week resignation, followed by a flurry of parliamentary activity in the past days, nothing is clear yet.
There has been little time for new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to take breath, much less choose a deputy and name his cabinet, Briefly.co.za has noticed that hasn’t stopped South Africans from speculating as to who will hold the positions looking ahead.
Being interviewed on radio this week, associate editor at Tiso BlackStar Group, Ranjeni Munusamy spoke about how Mpumalanga Premier and ANC deputy president, David Mabuza, may want to avail himself for the position of deputy president of South Africa.
She pointed out that while he said in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) for the province he heads that it would be his last SOPA, he didn’t have the power to actually deploy himself into the post of the country’s deputy president.
Mabuza reportedly said at a cabinet lekgotla in the province last week that he plans to vacate his office soon to focus on his new responsibilities as the party's deputy president.
While he didn't express any confirmed time frame, some sources have been cited as saying he said he might be departing as early as next week.
Pundits and politics watchers are saying this is the strongest indication yet that Mabuza might be headed for the Union Buildings.
The premier’s spokesman, Zibonele Mncwango, was quoted in the press as confirming Mabuza's words. "Indeed the premier shared this with his colleagues at the cabinet lekgotla last week that he was at the exit point," Mncwango said.
However, deployment to leadership positions isn't up to Mabuza, a fact he seems quite aware of. Speaking about who might succeed him as premier of Mpumalanga, Mncwango said although the premier believed there were many capable leaders who could take over from him, his successor was also not up to him. "It should be understood further that this is not the process that is within the purview of the premier."
Munusamy says Mabuza may be taking advantage of his support base in lobbying for a position he would like to have. "I think that David Mabuza, is being David Mabuza in that he lobbies, and he negotiates and he tries things. He uses his support base to advance his agenda," she said.
"You can't deploy yourself in the ANC. You can say I am available to do this and that. It does not mean you are entitled to it."
While Munusamay agreed that the pattern has been that the ANC deputy president has in fact been appointed as the country's deputy president, this isn't obligatory. "There is nothing in the ANC constitution that says that ought to happen," she explained.