South Africa: Balance of Power - Behind Ramaphosa's Campaign for the Presidency


Journalist Qaanitah Hunter takes us into the heart of Cyril Ramaphosa's ascendency to the presidency, looking behind the scenes at power-plays and dynamics of political campaigning - and looks to the future, contextualising what the current political climate could mean for both the ANC and South Africa. This extract, 'Unity, what unity?', details David Mabuza's positioning as the power broker of the Nasrec 2017 conference.

At a well-known hotel in the south of Johannesburg, the CR17 team set up de facto headquarters for co-ordination, decision-making and caucusing during the December 2017 conference. The situation was fluid and they needed a "war room" venue to keep watch on what was happening at the Nasrec expo centre where the conference was underway. This became the place where the top organisers of the CR17 campaign could discuss developments at the conference in private and caucus behind the scenes. The Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (NDZ) campaign also had an off-site meeting place though Jacob Zuma's holding room at Nasrec became their central base.

In addition, there was a "third-way" grouping at the Nasrec conference, the brainchild of David Mabuza, the strongman from Mpumalanga. This group was made up of proxies of Mabuza, and was led...

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