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Mangaung Update: Motlanthe to Run Against Zuma for ANC Party President Position

MangaungThe ANC\'s Battle for MangaungBusiness Day has reported that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will be running against President Jacob Zuma for the top position in the ANC at the party’s electoral conference in Mangaung from 16-20 December.

Motlanthe has also accepted the nomination for the position of deputy president, according to his spokesman Thabo Masebe.

The African National Congress (ANC) is set for a senior leadership tussle in Mangaung next week, with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe taking on President Jacob Zuma for the party’s top position.

Thabo Masebe, spokesman for Mr Motlanthe, confirmed on Thursday that the politician had accepted a nomination to run for the position.

Shanti Aboobaker and Gaye Davis from IOL News reported that professor Steven Friedman, director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, said that Motlanthe’s decision to run will not effect the outcome but that he is doing it as a matter of principle.

A decision by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to challenge President Jacob Zuma for the ANC’s top job will be more about him taking a principled position and less about his winning.

Insiders said on Wednesday that Motlanthe had agreed to stand against Zuma – and had told the ANC’s electoral commission so. But they made it clear he would make no public announcement as, according to ANC rules, this would be for the commission to announce.

The Daily Maverick‘s Sipho Hlongwane writes that Motlanthe will be accepting three nominations – president, deputy president and one for a national executive committee seat. Hlongwane speculates about whether his decision to run is part of his campaign to change the way that the ANC chooses top members. He spoke to political analyst Ebrahim Fakir who says that Motlanthe has left it too late to compete against Zuma.

Before the elective conference goes ahead, the party’s electoral commission has to vet and confirm with any potential candidates that they will indeed run, and Motlanthe is understood to have had indicated that he will sign the nomination sheet.

Current ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa said to Radio 702 that he had accepted his nomination for deputy president. “I confirm that I have accepted the nomination by the branches of the ANC to be a candidate for deputy president of the ANC. I responded positively to the voices of the branches,” he said to the station’s Stephen Grootes.

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