Deputy President David Mabuza
Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night announced David Mabuza as his deputy president as he made some surprising changes to his cabinet.

But who is Mabuza?

Mabuza was elected deputy president of the ANC at its elective conference in December, where he was seen as a dark horse. 

Mabuza serves as the Premier of Mpumalanga and has been in the role since 2009. He commands strong support in his province which played a big part in elevating him to power. 

He has served in the Mpumalanga provincial government since 1994, first as a the MEC for Education then as the MEC of housing from 1999 to 2001. 

Mabuza has also served as the MEC in a number of other portfolios including roads and transport, agriculture and administration. 

From 2001 until 2004, he was a Member of Parliament. 

Through his political influence and charm, Mabuza has served in the ANC Mpumalanga provincial executive committee (PEC) for over a decade.

Media watch the announcement that David Mabuza has been elected the new ANC deputy president. Video: Karen Sandison/ANA
In 2005, Mabuza was elected as deputy chairperson of the ANC in the province, which culminated in him being elected as chairperson in 2008. 

In the run-up to the ANC's 2007 elective conference, Mabuza played a key role in Jacob Zuma's rise to presidency. He was part of a group of provincial leaders called the "Premier League" who were staunch supporters of Zuma.

Mabuza surprised many when he put his hand up for nomination for the position of ANC deputy president. 

His campaign was centered on "unity" of the ANC. 

So prominent was the call for unity in his campaign that most of the branches in his province opted to write "unity" on their nomination forms instead of nominating a candidate. 

Last year, Mabuza starting preaching about an end to factionalism, while admitting that he was part of the rise of factionalism within the ANC. 

Mabuza has been in the headlines before for various issues including: 

* In 2010 R14 million was allegedly stolen from his farmhouse. 

* In 2015 he alleged that he was poisoned and had to take two months leave to recover from the attack. 

* Mabuza has been accused of being behind political killings in Mpumalanga, especially of his opponents. The killing of of speaker Jimmy Mohlala in 2009 raised eyebrows and was allegedly linked to Mabuza. 

* He filed a R10 million  lawsuit against former ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa for calling him a spy. The two don't get along.

Political Bureau