The ANC’s new deputy president is a mysterious man, embroiled in countless allegations and controversies dating back almost 10 years.
From millions of rands stashed in his home, having a private army, to being behind political assassinations in Mpumalanga — the cloud hanging over Mabuza’s head is dark, very dark.
1. Millions under the mattress
A year into his premiership, in 2010, R14-million in cash was said to have been stolen from Mabuza’s Barberton farmhouse. It was later reported that the Mabuza only reported R4-million stolen — so as not to raise too many eyebrows. The investigation went nowhere.
2. Mabuza’s private army
Earlier this month, Mabuza’s long-time enemy and predecessor, Mathews Phosa, said in an interview with eNCA that Mabuza was using a “private army” to intimidate ANC members in the province opposed to his “unity” campaign. This came after a video surfaced of a group of men, some wearing caps with a camouflage motif, dancing outside a house. At least three men pulled out firearms and fired multiple shots into the air, while they were in a crowd that included children.
3. Political assassinations
Mabuza’s detractors have also accused him of being behind several political killings in his province. Among those murdered was Mbombela speaker Jimmy Mohlala, who was killed in 2009. He blew the whistle on massive tender corruption surrounding a stadium built for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. James Nkambule was also poisoned for claiming politicians were behind the assassinations.
4. Gupta links
In 2015, Mabuza was allegedly poisoned and was forced to take two months’ leave. In this time, he travelled to Russia for treatment and hitched a ride back to the country with the Guptas on their private jet.
5. Tender corruption
Mabuza has allegedly been behind the awarding of many dodgy tenders to friends and family in his tenure. For example, in 2008, Sizwangendaba Investment, a company owned by Mabuza’s friend and former business partner, was awarded a multimillion-rand tender to provide agricultural appliances to farmers in the province.