Allegations against deputy president David Mabuza made international headlines this week when The New York Times ran an exposé in its Saturday edition.
In it the reporters reveal a host of allegations which have dogged Mabuza for years, about his time as MEC for education and later premier of Mpumalanga.
The article claims that he used money allocated for education in Mpumalanga to buy political power to ascend to the ANC deputy presidency.
It is alleged that he got the money while he was the MEC for education.
The article also raises questions about how Mpumalanga became such a strong voting block.
In his term the province was caught fabricating matric pass rates and an investigation was never completed.
Sibusiso Themba from the ANC Mpumalanga said the allegations are not new.
“The people who were making the allegations were told to lay charges against him and no one has ever submitted any evidence of theirs. These are stories that are being written. We have seen them and heard them before, but they have never added the evidence in the story,” he added.
Mabuza’s spokesman, Thami Ngwenya, said the article was a regurgitation of previous ones.
“The article is viewed in the same way as previous attempts of political smearing against the name of the deputy president. They are rejected with the contempt they deserve,” he said.
Theo Venter, a political analyst, said it becomes more difficult to remove and to deal with a person when they are already in office.
“When in office he has resources and power to fight. Why were the issues that are being raised about Mabuza not dealt with five years ago? He started walking his way up long before last December,” he explained.
“Ramaphosa had to make a deal with the devil, with no doubt Mabuza is one of the compromises that he had to make. Having him as a deputy president is demeaning for South Africa as a nation. People are talking and writing about him worldwide. How will the country sustain itself?”
Venter said Mabuza is a heartbeat away from being the country’s president.
“Looking at the ANC right now, it is divided so much that they won’t be able elect anyone as president.
It was a very positive thing for South Africans to have Ramaphosa as president and to have gotten rid of Jacob Zuma.
Then to have Mabuza as deputy president, it has made some South Africans start losing hope for change. The people are disappointed that Ramaphosa is not dealing with corruption,” said Venter.
The national ANC, the Office of the President and the Mpumalanga Department of Education did not respond to the Lowvelder’s request for comment.