The African National Congress's (ANC) Mpumalanga chairperson David Mabuza will be a serious contender for the leadership when the party goes for an elective conference, EFF leader Julius Malema claims, at the same time explaining how to win the succession race based on his own experience.
On Tuesday in Johannesburg, Malema claimed that Mabuza's campaign was backed by people with serious financial muscle. "DD's campaign has lots of money, you must not undermine it. It has the potential to emerge. They are backed by people who don't play," he said.
The battle for the control of the ANC is expected to go down to the wire with a handful of people tipped for the position. They include current deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mabuza, Ace Magashule, Zweli Mkhize, Baleka Mbete and Jeff Radebe.
Malema said that Mabuza's financial muscle made it easier for him to pave his way to Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters, and that he believed that Mabuza already saw himself somewhere beyond his current position.
"His future is no longer there [Mpumalanga]. DD knows that his campaign has lots of money. What works in the ANC is lots of money. You buy your way into the presidency. The one with the money will win. The ANC is available to the highest bidder. The way DD has organised himself with Mpumalanga, if he works very hard and brings a solid Mpumalanga, Baleka will be president and DD will be deputy," he said.
Malema said with other provinces divided, the situation in Mpumalanga painted a wonderful picture for Mabuza and those who would be on his ticket.
Malema explained how a candidate wins at the party's national conference, based on his own experience in the party and as a former leader of the ANC Youth League.
"Everywhere else provinces are divided except Mpumalanga. I have never lost a conference in all my life so I know how conferences work. If you want to win a national conference, out of nine provinces you must have two provinces solid. It doesn't matter how small they are, they just have to be solid. Those provinces must pronounce you. There must be a legitimate structure that pronounces you, then divide the rest of the provinces and you are gone, you are president," he said.
Malema said the picture was not so clear for Ramaphosa and people should not risk their money by betting on him. He said Ramaphosa's support is based in Gauteng, a province not known for winning conferences.
"Cyril doesn't have anything. Anyone who is putting their money on Cyril, you are wasting your time. It's only Gauteng that is backing him and Gauteng is not united. KZN is divided so Nkosazana's way to the presidency is not automatic. What makes Nkosazana the front runner is because she was pronounced by a legitimate structure of the ANC (the ANC Women's League). Anyone who wants to contest Nkosazana must defy the ANC nonsense called 'no debate on succession' and pronounce their candidate... (Otherwise) by the time it gets open for everyone, Nkosazana is in the lead and all of them are running way behind her," he said.