The ANC in Mpumalanga has vowed to clear a long-standing allegation that deputy president David Mabuza is a murderer once and for all following utterances made by a controversial bishop.
Bishop Hangwi Maumela – according to a video-recording that was posted on social media last week but has since been removed – alleged that Mabuza was a murderer and that newly appointed premier, Refilwe Mtshweni, was his girlfriend.
Maumela also alleged that Mabuza, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile were conspiring to topple President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Maumela is a leader of the Faith Bible Church in the North West.
He campaigned actively under Ramaphosa’s CR17 group before the Nasrec conference last year, and was this year accused of making sexual overtures to a married ANC Youth League member in Mahikeng.
These allegations were published in a Sunday tabloid.
According to the video recording, Maumela made these allegations in Mpumalanga on two events hosted by legislature member, David Dube, and former ANC deputy chairperson, Charles Makola.
Dube and Makola are on the campaign trail to convince ANC branch members that they deserve a shot to succeed Mabuza as provincial ANC chairpersons. The province will hold its provincial general council next month to fill Mabuza’s vacancy and also the deputy chairperson position, which was left vacant when Mpumalanga legislature speaker, Violet Siwela, was elected to the national executive committee.
ANC member and head of security in the Mpumalanga Office of the Premier, Welcome Nkuna, has laid a defamation charge against Maumela at the Nelspruit police station.
Mpumalanga ANC spokesperson, Sasekani Manzini, said during a media conference on Monday that the party was “disappointed” and “disgusted” by Maumela’s remarks.
“While his sentiments have been directed specifically at Comrade David Mabuza and broadly against a number of other comrades, what cannot be ignored is his broadside attack on the ANC as a collective structure,” Manzini said.
“His demeaning remarks about [Mtshweni] are not only the antithesis of what the ANC stands for but represent the worst form of sexism and male chauvinism. In all honesty, chauvinists like the so-called bishop do not have a place in modern-day South Africa wherein women occupy high echelons of power based on their capabilities and commitment,” she said.
She said that it was a “cause for concern” that those Maumela was campaigning for [Dube and Makola] did not call him to order or distance themselves from his “divisive political vomit”.
Dube could not comment due to a bereavement, and his campaign spokesperson, Sello Shai, was not available on his cellphones
Makola said that the ANC should ask Maumela and demand proof for his remarks.
“But why would the deputy president be defended by one province? It’s not to say the bishop is right for saying what he said if he doesn’t have proof … they must challenge him,” Makola said.
The secretary of the Mpumalanga ANC youth league, Pholoso Mbatsane, said the criminal case laid against Maumela was an opportunity for Mabuza to clear his name against the allegations, which started when he became ANC provincial chairperson in 2008.
“Although many people have made these allegations, the pseudo-bishop is the one affected by this case,” Mbatsane said.
Mabuza’s name was linked to political killings in 2010, when late politician James Nkambule distributed an affidavit that he claimed was written by a Mozambican hitman known as Josh.
In the affidavit, Josh claimed that Mabuza hired him to take out his political opponents. No one has laid any charges relating to the allegations made in the affidavit, but Mabuza’s name has now and again been brought up on political killings in the province.
One such political killing involved the murder of former City of Mbombela speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, who was shot while exposing corruption in the R1.2 billion Mbombela stadium tenders.