While opposition party devise strategies that would successfully see Jacob Zuma off the seat of presidency, ANC secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe said six candidates are in the race to succeed Zuma as ANC’s party leader and possibly South Africa’s president.
Mantashe said – following ANC’s process in choosing its next president – that the party has a list of six top members who are bidding to succeed Jacob Zuma next year.
“There’s six people who have raised their hand that they want to be president,” he said adding that the party has resolved to openly debate position.
This comes amid growing factionalism in the 104-year-old African National Congress even as the party struggles to win people support ahead of the coming election.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Zuma’s former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, stand at the forefront of potential candidates to would succeed Zuma. Nonetheless, a few more others have been mentioned to equally be fit to join the fight.
Among those candidates with plans to succeed Zuma are: Zweli Mkhize, ANC’s treasurer general and former premier of KwaZulu-Natal province; and the speaker of parliament and ANC chairperson, Baleka Mbete.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s time as chairperson of the African Union Commission ends in January . So, she would have quality time to play a part in the bids.
“Top party officials will from this weekend start a “political education” roadshow to speak to members at branches to help facilitate the process of electing a new leader at its five-yearly conference in December next year, Mantashe said.
The secretary-General however noted that the 74-year-old Jacob Zuma isn’t one of the six candidates and isn’t expected to seek re-election.
“I don’t think he will stand for the third term. He’s not in the six. It would be a mistake to stand for a third term,
“It’s not an unspoken rule, it’s actually spoken because we go on to say the president of the ANC is the ANC candidate for the president of the country,” he said.