Picture: (AFP/File/Alexander Joe)
African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma (L) talks to his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe during the 52nd National Congress in 2007
By Tahir Sema
On the 22nd of September Jacob Zuma had hinted that ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe would be the acting president, though he refused to make it official stating that it is parliament’s decision and not that of the senior members of the ANC represented at the conference in which he spoke at.
The tip of by Zuma that Kgalema Motlanthe would be the acting president of South Africa was also reaffirmed by information leaked to Reuters earlier this morning by ANC members who spoke on condition of anonymity; claiming that it has already been decided.
Media Review Network spoke to ordinary South Africans and they view Motlanthe as a suitable candidate for acting president, even the Democratic Alliance known for its criticism against the ANC and its policies, approves of Motlanthe. Many did not favour Baleka Mbete, the current Speaker of parliament, because of incidents in the past and her reputation.
Jacob Zuma stated that Thabo Mbeki “remains a comrade” adding that Mbeki will continue to be given tasks as a cadre and one of the senior leaders of the movement.
Zuma has made it clear and reassured all South Africans as well as the international community that the ANC “will do all in its power to ensure that stability is maintained in governance and service delivery”.
South Africans were told not to panic as the ANC expects a smooth transition; Zuma on behalf of the ANC says “this is not a change of party but only leadership in government.”
MRN welcomes the smooth transition of leadership, and hopes that it contributes to stability. MRN’s chairperson Iqbal Jassat says “we are pleased that outgoing President Mbeki has displayed statesmanship by obliging, in what can only be described as trying times is South Africa’s young democracy.
Meanwhile Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has resigned, her spokesman Denzil Taylor confirmed that "Yes, she has resigned. The deputy president has resigned to outgoing President Thabo Mbeki".
"She resigned for two reasons — for personal reasons, and also she wants to afford the new president the opportunity to elect his or her own deputy president."
MANUEL’S RESIGNATION CAUSES CONFUSION: ECONOMIST
T-Sec economist Mike Schussler says the resignation of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has caused confusion and volatility in the country’s markets.
Schussler says "He resigns and then in the next hour he says he may be prepared to stay on. He should have announced his situation upfront — now people in the market are really confused."
Schussler says, as a consequence, there had been tremendous pressure on the rand, "It bounced back but now it’s gone backwards again. "At 2.33pm the local currency was trading at 8.14 to the US dollar.
He added that the resignation and the subsequent announcement that Manuel may be prepared to stay on had scared both local and foreign investors.
Schussler added that "No one knows what the markets will do in the next few hours."
Earlier it was announced that Manuel was among 11 Cabinet ministers and three deputy ministers who had resigned.
Their letters of resignation had been received by President Thabo Mbeki "which, regretfully, he has had to accept", the presidency said.
Later, however, Manuel’s spokeswoman Thoraya Pandy said that both he and his Deputy Minister Jabu Moleketi were "ready to serve" a new administration.
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