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Why David Mabuza did not take the oath – it's the lon...

South Africa

SA's 6th Parliament

Why David Mabuza did not take the oath – it’s the long game

Since David Mabuza became deputy president of the ANC in December 2017 and then Deputy President of the country in February 2018, he has been on a clean-up campaign. Getting his name cleared by the Integrity Commission is part of that mission.

After it had completed its work, the ANC’s Integrity Commission drew up a list of 22 people it red-flagged on the party’s election lists and sent this to the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule.

This was done after the lists had been submitted to the IEC. When the lists were revealed and public opprobrium grew about the inclusion of personalities at the heart of the State Capture project, the problem was sent to the Commission headed by veteran George Mashamba.

While Mabuza’s name has not emerged at the Zondo commission of inquiry into State Capture nor in any of the major national scandals that have scaled the governing party, his peccadillos while serving as Mpumalanga premier are legend.

So, Mabuza was included in the list of 22 people by the commission and this ticked him off. The Integrity Commission did not set out a process of what should happen, but the party’s national conference resolutions set out that the ethics standard body should investigate and draw up a report.

Officials at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters say the commission did not do this but simply sent the list. Mabuza does not want to be sworn in with this cloud hanging over his head and his action is seen as a throw-down to the commission which he and others believe are not sticking to due process and the dictum of innocent until proven guilty.

The party’s nominated chair-of-chairs at Parliament, Nomvula Mokonyane, also said today she would not be sworn in. Daily Maverick understands it is for the same reason although official communication from the ANC puts her withdrawal down to “family responsibilities and her being in mourning currently”.

There is no report. There’s just a list. You can’t just send a list. That is not justice,” said a party official to explain Mabuza’s decision not to take the oath of office. Asked if this meant he will not return as Deputy President of the country, the official said “No. The position will remain vacant until he is sworn in.” Sunday Times reported at the weekend that Mabuza wanted to return to Luthuli House as an official to consolidate his support and reported that Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma could become Deputy President.

Mabuza is said not to want to be sworn in with a cloud over his head. While the party’s resolutions against corruption set a higher bar than a legal one (innocent until proven guilty) by requiring that any candidates touted for leadership positions should stand down if they are implicated or named in any act of corruption, party leaders are railing against that position.

It is against the rule of natural justice,” said the official.

Magashule has used a similar rationale to explain why candidates like Mokonyane, minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini and former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba were prominent on the party’s lists. He has said that they had not been charged nor had they been found guilty in court.

The 59-year-old Mabuza wants to become President of South Africa and the move on Wednesday is read as part of his paving the yellow brick road to get there.

City Press Mpumalanga bureau chief Sizwe Sama Yende’s book Eerie Assignment contains chapter and verse of how Mabuza ran Mpumalanga similarly to Magashule’s rein in the Free State.

But since Mabuza became deputy president of the ANC in December 2017 and then became Deputy President of the country in February 2018, he has been on a clean-up campaign. Getting his name cleared by the Integrity Commission is part of that mission.

For her part, Mokonyane is on a similar campaign: she has reportedly told her comrades at Luthuli House that the evidence former COO of Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, gave to the Zondo commission is false. She maintains that the goodies he said were delivered to her – braai packs, alcohol and sheep – were for charity.

Efforts to get hold of the Integrity Commission was unsuccessful but its comments will be added when available. DM


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