'All the speculations are wrong' - Mabuza on rumours that he will be removed as deputy president
"Hayi, well, no, all the speculations are wrong."
This was the response from deputy president David Mabuza as he dismissed speculation that he might not return as the country's deputy president when President Cyril Ramaphosa announces his new executive in the coming days.
Mabuza was responding to journalists who wanted to know whether it was true that he was leaving office and not going back to the Union Buildings. Mabuza was speaking on the sidelines of a special meeting of the ANC's national executive committee in Cape Town on Monday. He would not elaborate about where he thought the rumours were coming from, only saying "they are speculating".
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Meanwhile, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told journalists that the NEC meeting was yet to decide on who the ANC would nominate to be the next speaker of the National Assembly, and the new chairperson of the National Council of Provinces.
Just before 1pm on Monday, Magashule confirmed that the decision would be taken at the meeting but that the names had not yet come up for discussion when they broke for lunch.
Also on the agenda is a discussion on the name of the premier candidate for the North West. It is the only province with no nomination whose premier candidate was not announced when the NEC concluded names for other provinces last week.
"We have not entered that debate. We will see, we can't preempt. There will be a presentation and we will engage with that," he said.
The NEC meeting will also receive a report from the KZN and eThekwini structures on the matter around eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who is out on R50,000 bail after appearing in court last week on corruption, fraud and racketeering charges. She is accused of facilitating money laundering‚ fraud and corruption, allegedly to pay back cronies who helped her political ambitions.
"The region and the province is actually engaging that discussion. They will be giving us a report. We are happy with the way they are handling the matter. It will be dealt with at some stage," said Magashule.
He said they were expecting Ramaphosa to update the NEC about the process of reconfiguring the government.
Magashule was mum when asked for his comment following the North Gauteng High Court decision to set aside public protector Busiswe Mkhwebane's Vrede dairy farm project report early on Monday.
“I have no comment because I don't have details,” he said.
Otherwise, Magashule said, the meeting had been analysing and getting a brief report on how the ANC had performed in the general elections held earlier this month.
"We have looked at our weaknesses and conduct during elections and we are saying as we move forward we need to work hard and address those things of roads, issues of water and those issues of inequality, poverty and unemployment."
Magashule said theirs had been a good campaign in which the ANC had recovered support lost in the 2016 elections.
"This campaign was about real issues affecting people at local government level and we were saying our performance at various levels of society – we have to improve quite a lot of things," he added.