Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Rural Baron Emerges as Kingmaker in South Africa's ANC Race

  • Mpumalanga may command swing vote in ruling party elections
  • Province’s premier has been nominated as ANC deputy leader
Updated on

A former schoolteacher who’s been linked to a succession of scandals in South Africa has emerged as a likely kingmaker in the contest to decide who will become the next leader of the ruling party and probably the country.

David Mabuza, who calls himself “the cat” because of his political survival skills, emerged as a power broker within the African National Congress by signing up tens of thousands of new members in the rural eastern Mpumalanga region where he is the party’s chairman and provincial premier. As a result he’ll lead the second-largest voting bloc to the ANC’s national elective conference that begins on Dec. 16 and ends Dec. 20 in Johannesburg.