Who is David Mabuza?

File: ANC Deputy President David Mabuza.

File: ANC Deputy President David Mabuza.


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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa has a new deputy president.

ANC deputy president and former Mpumalanga premier, David Mabuza, is now the country’s second in command. He will be sworn in as the deputy president on Tuesday.

READ: Mabuza: the cat who got the cream

Mabuza is a controversial figure, with allegations of his involvement in political assassinations revolving around him.

Born in 1960, David Dabede Mabuza – DD for short – was a teacher before he became involved in the workers&39; movements in the 1980s.

Political ascendence

Mabuza was appointed the Azanian Students’ Organisation secretary in 1984. He was also active in at least two teachers’ unions in the 1980s and 1990s.

The man – who refers to himself as “The Cat” became the ANC’s regional chairperson in 1994 and then moved into the party’s Mpumalanga leadership from 1998 to 2006. He also served as an MP for some time.

Mabuza made it into the ANC’s National Executive Committee in 2007 and in 2009, he was appointed premier of Mpumalanga.

Following the ANC’s December 2017 elective conference, Mabuza became the party’s deputy president, deftly refusing to outright support either Cyril Ramaphosa or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.


In 2010, Mabuza opened a case with police alleging R14-million in cash was stolen from his house. However, the provincial organised crime unit insisted only R1,200 was stolen and Mabuza later reported only R4-million missing. The investigation into the case went nowhere.

In the same year, Mabuza was accused of "buying" his premiership by "gifting" R400,000 towards President Jacob Zuma’s 2008 wedding to Nompumelelo Ntuli. The Presidency did not deny the claim of the gift.

One of the most chilling allegations against Mabuza is that he is behind a number of political killings in Mpumalanga.

One of them is the 2009 alleged fatal poisoning of a whistle-blower in tender corruption related to building the Mbombela Stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

READ: The ‘smallanyana’ skeletons of the ANC’s new top six

Another alleged political hit includes that of Mbombela speaker Jimmy Mohlala, who was gunned down in 2009, also after speaking out against World Cup corruption.

And in a similar vein, in January 2010, the head of communications of Mpumalanga&39;s Department of Sports, Culture and Recreation, Sammy Mpatlanyane, was fatally shot at his Nelspruit home.

There are also claims Mabuza promised people money and jobs for suppressing the allegations over political assassinations.

Recently, Mabuza was accused of operating a personal militia that intimidated ANC delegates during branch general meetings in the lead-up to the party’s December 2017 elective conference. It came after a video went public, showing a group of men, allegedly ANC members loyal to him, firing live ammunition into the air.

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