'DD' Mabuza tries to woo former ANC-turned-EFF comrade back to the party
Former deputy president David Mabuza says he is "lonely" after the departure of former ANC chairperson for the Ehlanzeni region, Ngrayi Ngwenya, who has since joined the EFF.
Mabuza made the comments while addressing mourners at his nephew's funeral in Phola near Hazyview on Sunday.
Mabuza, who has shied away from the limelight since leaving office in March, expressed his gratitude at seeing his former ally among the mourners.
“Comrade Ngrayi, I’m lonely, I’m lonely without you. You know the investment I made in you is a lot. I hoped that in this difficult time, you will help me and not desert me. You are not deserting me but you are deserting your people. But I’m happy that you came today. There’s something in you that says you must be here because you know where we come from,” said Mabuza.
Ngwenya was the chairperson of Ehlanzeni region from 2009 to 2018, which coincided with Mabuza’s three terms as ANC Mpumalanga provincial chairperson.
Ngwenya was suspended from the ANC for five years in July 2021, after he publicly supported former president Jacob Zuma, who was due to begin his 15-month prison sentence for refusing to participate in the State Capture Inquiry.
The former political heavyweight had also appeared before the party's disciplinary committee for the assault of then party provincial deputy secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali.
The disciplinary structure found that Ngwenya's actions were in conflict with the party's constitution, values, principles and traditions.
Following his unceremonious departure from the ruling party, Ngwenya joined Julius Malema’s EFF, where he serves under the organisation's recruitment and campaign structure in the Ehlanzeni region.
In response to Mabuza's utterances, Ngwenya told Sowetan on Monday that while he sympathised with Mabuza, he has found a new political home, which is the EFF.
“I heard bhuti (as Mabuza is affectionately called in Mpumalanga), he says I must go back to the ANC but eish, that’s impossible. My political home now is the EFF and I can’t disappoint the EFF as I haven’t disappointed the ANC but it’s the ANC that disappointed me. I came to support him at the burial of his brother’s child. No politics but humanity and brotherhood,” said Ngwenya.
Mabuza once vowed to bring back Malema to the ANC, a move which never materialised.
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