Now is not the time to speak about your second-term desires, Mabuza
ANC elections boss Fikile Mbalula tells those with ‘desires for power’ to put a sock in it until after local elections
ANC deputy president David Mabuza was wrong to publicise his desire for a second term while in the middle of an election campaign, the party’s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, told the media on Monday.
Mbalula said this at the St George’s Hotel in Irene, Gauteng, where Mabuza was resolving party disputes about local election candidates.
Mabuza recently stated his intention to avail himself for the ANC deputy presidency come the party’s December 2022 national elective conference.
This act, charged Mbalula, was an unnecessary distraction and, if not nipped in the bud, would defocus the party from what matters most now — the upcoming local government polls.
Mabuza and other ANC leaders who have a burning desire to express their wishes about party positions must wait for the elections to pass, he said.
“We have called him [Mabuza] to order and everybody involved with that discussion. We will have the whole year to discuss leadership,” said Mbalula.
“Everyone who is discussing leadership now, they are really taking us off the rail. We are focused now, we are left with two weeks to victory.
“So anyone who has got an uncontrollable desire for power and decides to basically speak about leadership, they are completely off the rail,” he went on.
“We will have enough time for people to state their desires, ambitions and whether they are standing or not standing. It is very wrong for anybody, two weeks into the elections, to raise a non-debate.
“A political party as big as the ANC cannot be that stupid to discuss things that do not matter. The issue of who becomes the president or becomes what-what is a non-debate now.”
Mabuza is the first national ANC leader to divulge what position he will be aiming for next year.
ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe’s name has been among those discussed in ANC circles as a candidate for the deputy presidency.
The Sunday Times reported in August that ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s faction was pushing for defence minister Thandi Modise to become deputy president come December 2022.
As things stand, it appears the position will be most contested at the much-anticipated conference, where Ramaphosa appears set to get a second term.