Mkhize the kingmaker came so close to the throne
Close association with Jacob Zuma did not hinder the man who played a big role in the former president’s rise
Zweli Mkhize was seen as one of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s likely successors.
Even if he did not challenge the president, he was expected to run for ANC deputy president next year, with the intention to position himself as an obvious choice to fill Ramaphosa’s shoes when he leaves as party president in 2027.
There was an appetite for his candidacy, especially in business, where he was seen as cleaner than deputy president David Mabuza. Others regarded him as more clued up on issues than outgoing human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu (who was moved to the tourism portfolio on Thursday evening) and as having a better track record in government – whether as premier, MEC for finance or health minister – than another deputy president candidate, Paul Mashatile. ..