Editor's note: David Mabuza has emerged as a significant player in the upcoming ANC presidential election by maneuvering himself into the role of power broker at the elective conference. Briefly.co.za editor, Stefan Mack, will examine how Mabuza became the puppet master he is today.
Master of Shenanigans
David Mabuza has revealed how he has managed to place himself in a key position in the upcoming elective conference. He said that if one can master the shenanigans, one can lead. Seemingly a page from Jacob Zuma's political playbook.
As provincial chairperson of Mpumalanga, commanding an impressive 739 delegates, the second largest ANC province after KZN, Mabuza received an overwhelming number of votes as the future deputy president of the ANC under Dlamini-Zuma.
A Numbers Game
The Eastern Cape has traditionally been the home of the ANC and for the first time in the movements, history has been knocked from its pedestal as the second largest ANC province in South Africa by Mpumalanga.
Mabuza has managed to swell the numbers of ANC members in his province to levels of gargantuan proportions. The province is home to only four million South Africans but is sending 739 delegates to Johannesburg, in comparison to Gauteng's 12-million inhabitants which only sends 500 delegates.
By playing the numbers game just right, Mabuza has place Mpumalanga in an important position as kingmaker in the upcoming elective conference. Mabuza has said that 'where Mpumalanga goes, you will win'.
Who is the Master Manipulator?
Mabuza was born in 1960 in the village of Brondal in Mpumalanga, he joined the anti-apartheid movement when he was 25. He was recruited by Mathews Phosa into the United Democratic Front (UDF) and as a teacher, he was the perfect choice as MEC for education.
However, after the matric results were highly inflated causing a national outcry, he was fired. This was not the end of Mabuza's political career but the beginning.
Ambitious to a fault
Mabuza served as regional chairperson for the ANC between 1994 and 1998. He then became a member of the legislature in 1999, the position he still currently holds. In 2000 he was appointed as an ANC member of Parliament.
His meteoric rise through the ANC ranks has propelled him to the position of chairperson of Mpumalanga in 2008.
Mabuza and Phosa have become estranged over the years, with the former eclipsing his former mentor as he rose through the ANC.
Mabuza's political career has been dogged by controversy but he has managed to steer himself out of rough waters in the past, from the matric result fiasco to allegations of massive corruption in the building of the R1.2 billion Mbombela World Cup 2010 stadium.
Future President Mabuza?
Mabuza is a master manipulator and is politically astute which combined with his populist approach give him an excellent set of characteristics required to reach the highest seat in the land. He is still young enough to fulfil his ambitions.
It is quite possible, years ago another politically astute master manipulator wheeled and dealt himself into the highest office, that man is Jacob Zuma, Mabuza and Zuma are very similar and it is not impossible that one day we might have a President Mabuza.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Briefly.co.za
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