David "DD" Mabuza is the cat who got the cream as he ascended to the second-highest position in the ANC — deputy president. At 57, he assumes the post at the same age President Jacob Zuma did in 1997. It is hard to shake off Mabuza’s words when he came back from nearly 50 days of sick leave in 2015 after being poisoned. "The cat is back," he proclaimed. Like Zuma, Mabuza claimed he was poisoned. He said at the time that he had "let his guard down at a birthday party" and suffered from a long and painful illness after that. The long-time ANC Mpumalanga chairman positioned himself and his province perfectly as kingmakers of the party’s 54th conference. He beat his opponent, Lindiwe Sisulu, with 2,538 votes to her 2,159. He played the game so deftly that he obtained the highest number of votes for the top six positions in the party — more even than new ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. He had overwhelming support from branches ahead of the conference and was expected to grab the deputy pr...

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