190210. Opening of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature in Nelspruit. The Premier of Mpumalanga Province David Mabuza during his speech address. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko
190210. Opening of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature in Nelspruit. The Premier of Mpumalanga Province David Mabuza during his speech address. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Premier Mabuza ‘recuperating’

By Lebogang Seale Time of article published Oct 1, 2015

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Johannesburg - The Mpumalanga provincial government has dismissed claims that Premier David Mabuza is dead, after a hoax call claiming that he has passed away.

“I can assure you we have just spoken to him. He is resting. You can hold me (accountable) on that,” said acting premier Vusi Shongwe.

Mabuza has not been reporting for duty for three weeks and he is said to be “resting at home”, according to his spokesman Zibonele Mcwango.

A media report stated three weeks ago that Mabuza collapsed from a stroke and was airlifted to a hospital in Gauteng, but authorities within the provincial government were quick to dismiss that.

Last night, Independent Media spoke to two independent sources and they corroborated each other in their statements that the premier did in fact collapse after he suffered a stroke.

“It’s an open secret that the premier collapsed after a stroke attack three weeks ago. He was taken to Medi-Clinic in Nelspruit and later airlifted to a hospital in Pretoria,” said a highly placed source.

“He was discharged a few days later and has been recuperating at home since then.

Said another source: “The premier hasn’t been well after he collapsed from stroke... They won’t say because maybe they think it’s sensitive information, but they know it’s true.”

The source said Mabuza’s leave was extended without the actual reasons being disclosed.

Shongwe did not confirm or deny the allegations that the premier had collapsed from a stroke, saying he had been away at the time.

“This thing of stroke, I don’t know,” said Shongwe, who is the community safety, security and liaison MEC.

Mabuza is part of the so-called “Premier League” within the ANC, a grouping that is said to command an influence within the governing party. The Free State and North West premiers, Ace Magashule and Supra Mahumapelo, respectively, are said to be its other members.

The grouping reportedly had a big influence on the preferred candidates for the ANC Women’s League and ANC Youth League top positions elected recently. This was as it used these structures as a calculated strategy to influence of the outcome of the ANC’s 2017 succession race.

However, Mabuza faces opposition from his home turf, with disgruntled ANC members within the Mpumalanga accusing him of ruling with an iron fist and sidelining those opposed to his leadership and stifling dissenting views. The grouping, which has formed the so-called “Save Mpumalanga campaign”, has threatened to go to court or to form a civic organisation contest the 2016 local government independently from the ANC.

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THE STAR

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