Mbalula shuts down ANC succession talk ahead of elections

Mbalula was hitting out at David Mabuza, who surprised many last week by declaring his availability to return as deputy president of the party, but he has since backtracked.

FILE: African National Congress (ANC) head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, briefs the media on 16 September 2021 on the party's plans for 2021 local government elections. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, has put a gag order on the party’s divisive succession debate until after the local government elections.

Mbalula was hitting out at David Mabuza, who surprised many last week by declaring his availability to return as deputy president of the party, but he has since backtracked.

The ANC face yet another tough election but internally the race to 2022 has started in earnest.

But Mbalula was having none of it.

“We have called him to order and everybody who was involved with that discussion. We are not there,” Mbalula said.

Mbalula was reprimanding the ANC’s deputy president who until last week was not even a consideration in the ANC rumblings around the succession debate.

Paul Mashatile and Gwede Mantashe were touted for the battle for the ANC’s second-in-command. Mabuza, who faced internal criticism for raising the elective conference, has since backtracked.

"I was provoked, and I will not be provoked again," he said.

It’s now just weeks before South Africa goes to the local polls, after which Mbalula said that they could go back to discussions about the battle for control of Luthuli House.

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