South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has hinted that he wouldn’t be supporting his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa’s ambition to become President.
Mr President at an interview with SABC radio stations, asserted that it’s not his party’s policy for a deputy president to succeed the president.
Acknowledging that former presidents – Oliver Tambo‚ Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki – were succeeded by their deputies, Zuma argued that “it was an accident of history.” and not a tradition.
He stressed that it isn’t ANC tradition for deputies to become presidents saying:
“There is no policy (as such). It’s not true that it’s a tradition…It is not a policy and not an accepted tradition… Anyone who is nominated can contest. It’s a statement that people just make not because it’s true.”
Earlier, Zuma dismissed the insinuations that he will be vying for a third term.
He said: “(I am) not running for the third term. I am finishing a second term. There are many leaders in the ANC who must get an opportunity to lead.
“Even in the past‚ when the previous president wanted a third term, I was one of those who were not supporting that move. I cannot reject the move by another president and then do it myself.”
Also, Zuma rebuked ANC structures for string discord in the party by agitating publicly for certain candidates to take over the leadership of the party from him.
“People rush to give names for leadership. Even leaders also just abruptly indicate their availability for leadership.
“They just say openly‚ ‘I don’t have any problem leading.’ People then start talking about the leadership race.
In June, we are going to a policy conference. We will first talk about the things that we have to do first. When we have discussed our policy and programmes, then we can decide who is the person that we think can help achieve these programmes,” he said.