The Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma camp in the ANC succession race outwardly appears confident, but behind the scenes it is feared that Mpumalanga leader David Mabuza may not give them his support, which is key to victory at the December conference. Business Day understands that Mabuza was pushing for the Dlamini-Zuma camp to accommodate Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile, who features on her opponent Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s slate as treasurer. The ANC succession race is neck and neck between Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma, but there appears to be moves towards a more "unitary" or consensus-driven approach to avoid a divisive leadership battle. Mpumalanga has emerged as a kingmaker in the race, as head of the second-largest delegation to the conference kicking off on December 16.

It is understood that in order to ensure Mabuza’s support, Dlamini-Zuma’s campaigners are willing to accommodate Mashatile, who has long been an opponent of the faction aligned to President Jacob Zuma and...

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