Selection of Deputy President looms over weekend ANC NEC meeting

Johannesburg – The African National Congress is expected to try to refocus the party on organisational matters in a two-day National Executive Committee meeting this weekend, amidst heavy speculation over a looming Cabinet reshuffle.

The political party’s previous NEC meetings were mainly focused on the question of former president Jacob Zuma, who was recalled by the party’s highest decision-making body two weeks ago.

His successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, has since been elected as the country’s president and delivered the State of the Nation Address last Friday.

Ramaphosa is yet to announce who will take over as deputy president of the country, but according to some in the ANC, it should be his deputy within in the liberation movement, Mpumalanga’s David “DD” Mabuza.

Mabuza delivered what has been seen by some as possibly his final State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Friday.

An ANC insider close to Mabuza told said that when it comes to taking on the role of being the country’s second in command, “he wants it”.

The source said that although he was not too sure when the appointment of deputy president would officially be made, he believed when it was done, it would be handed to the ANC deputy president.

‘Right thing to do’

Meanwhile, an ANC NEC member has said that giving Mabuza the role as leader of government business would be the right thing to do.

“It’s not an issue of him wanting it, he’s the deputy president of the ANC and should be one of the country,” he said.

Another NEC member said that while she was in favour of Lindiwe Sisulu taking over as Ramaphosa’s deputy, “I am willing to be persuaded”.

“I will not comment on rumours and speculation from the media. I have not heard that DD wants this position.

“I still would prefer to have Lindiwe. However, just like in the provincial and national elections last year, I am willing to be persuaded.”

According to section 91 of the Constitution, the president of the republic elects the deputy president, ministers, and assigns their functions. He or she may also dismiss them.

During his SOPA address on Friday, Mabuza gave some indication that he might soon be leaving the province, telling guests that those taking over from him would inherit a strong government to take Mpumalanga forward.

“Where we have done well, fresh energy will be required to finish the race,” said Mabuza.

The NEC member said that the ANC’s weekend meeting also had to look at the establishment of sub-committees, the deployment of NEC members to the different provinces, and preparations for the 2019 general elections registration weekend, which is taking place next week.


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