By Rofhiwa Madzena

If there’s one person you should be watching at the 54th National Conference of the ANC it is the Premier of Mpumalanga, David Mabuza, the kingmaker.

Mabuza is vital in deciding who could be the next president of the ANC in the battle between Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. In an interview with CNBC Africa he said: “no matter who wins the presidency tomorrow, we will work together with the new president, as a party, to ensure that we sew the divisions and return the African National Congress (ANC) to its former glory.”.

Speaking to CNBC Africa before the plenary session at the 54th National Conference of the ANC began, Mabuza also highlighted that “the conference is not about any one person but rather about the party emerging as a unit at the end of the session”.

This, even as Mabuza, with the backing of his province, has come out in full support of presidential hopeful, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has been described by many at the conference as the preferred candidate.

The ANC’s race for the presidency is close and unpredictable but the race for the deputy presidency is not as Mabuza is the party’s favourite to take up the position of the deputy presidency, something presidential candidate Dlamini-Zuma has given him should she receive the most votes after the nomination process. “It is my hope that the votes will not be disputed after the nomination process has been finalised because it is a possibility but it may take us back as a movement.”

As the delegates made their way into the plenary, they were met with raucous song and dance by the different branches. Mabuza formed a part of the many delegates who cheered as Dlamini-Zuma made her way into the session and joined the singing.

The opening session kicked off with songs of unity.  Multi-faith prayers with religious leaders who made an impassioned plea for the party to emerge united not for itself and its benefactors but for the people who trusted the party to take South Africa forward.

The session convened under the theme, ‘Remembering Tambo’, the former president of the ANC.


  1. The 54th National Conference is more like a kangaroo conference, many propaganda has been played to ensure that Ramaphosa wins. Branches has been nullified just before the conference to make sure that Dlamini Zuma’s supporters could not vote for her.

    • There so many disputes among the factions and allegations has been laid upon each other. But this is not just about the party, it is about the country. The delegates voting in the conference must remember that they representing the people of their province. They should think about them. Comparing among both the contestants, I think no one would want Ramaphosa to win, as he has been accused of several crimes and is enlisted as a corrupt man in the Paradise Papers leaks.

      • Still the matter is not being raised anywhere. He is shamelessly contesting for the highest office of South Africa.

        • Where is that DA now? They are always ready to file a case or protest march towards people’s home, aren’t they aware of such huge revelation? This shows what they really are. Why is Ramaphosa being allowed to be free and secure of any probe?

          • DA would never stand for something worth for. They only know to target few individual. They don’t really care about the country.

    • People are not foolish, we know how they have been playing dirty politics against Dlamini Zuma. They would never succeed in their ill deeds.

Comments are closed.