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  Motlanthe will (probably) bite Zuma at Mangaung
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Mar 28, 2012 11:16pm
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CategoryOpinion
AuthorSipho Hlongwane
News DateWednesday, March 28, 2012 05:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThere are many good reasons why ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe will not want to run against Jacob Zuma for the top position in the party, and by extension, president of the republic. Zuma has yards of political capital, and deploys it well, like when he sacked Siphiwe Nyanda as minister of communications, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde as public works minister and cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Sicelo Shiceka. Zuma has come off really well after ANCYL president Julius Malema was sacked from the party. For now, there is no tsunami of disgruntlement like the one that brought him to power.

But there’s one very good reason for Motlanthe to run. He’s 62 years old. If not now, then when?

Motlanthe is one of the old guard. He’s a Robben Island alumnus. After his release in 1987, he served as secretary-general of the National Union of Mineworkers before replacing Cyril Ramaphosa as the secretary-general of the ANC. His ascendancy to become the deputy president of the ANC was virtually guaranteed after that. He is only seven years younger than Zuma, and there is a very large group of lesser ANC leaders like Paul Mashatile who would like to have their turn at the very top, thank you very much. If he can’t do it in Mangaung, then his time will have passed.
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