News24 investigative journalist Kyle Cowan delves deep into the life of the second most powerful man in South Africa, Deputy President David Mabuza.
Persistent allegations over the last year, which include tender corruption, patronage and murder nearly cost Mabuza the No.2 spot in the land just as he was getting used to it.
But it seems Mabuza has managed to survive it all with Cowan describing him as a "cat with many lives".
Cowan starts by giving an assessment of Mabuza's early years when he entered into politics as a student.
The journalist says Mabuza was originally recruited by ANC veteran Matthews Phosa and he worked in ANC structures for many years. In 2009, when former president Jacob Zuma took over, Mabuza was appointed premier of Mpumalanga.
Cowan explains the fallout between Mabuza and Phosa over inflated school's results in 1998.
This is a story about this man's political weight and power that he has in that province. He always managed to convince ANC leadership that, you need me to control these branches and without me, they are not going to vote the way you want them to.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
During his investigation on the period 2009 - 2013, Cowan discovered how badly managed Mpumalanga was during Mabuza's premiership.
Through confirmation from National Treasury, provincial departments from that time period had an irregular expenditure of R35 billion.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
If you look at the Auditor-General's report it will show you that for a period of five years, there were only two municipalities out twenty-one who actually got a clean audit.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
Mabuza was also embroiled in allegations of political killings in Mpumalanga.
There have been these political killings. People have died and bodies were buried, and these were political players.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
But these have only ever been allegations, insists Cowan.
There is nothing that says to us or law enforcement, at this moment or ever, that David Mabuza was definitely involved in these killings. There is absolutely nothing that points back to him.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
Cowen says it seems Mabuza thrives in an environment where the politics is chaotic and tumultuous.
He says he hopes Mabuza won't be bringing the same kind of chaotic politics to the national stage.
To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : How David Mabuza rose to power in the face of unproven allegations