Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, December 04, 2006

ANC Power Play in EC
In what is a very significant development, one of the ANC's key 'home' provinces, the Eastern Cape, has backed Mbeki for a third term as ANC President (note: This is the party president, not SA President). This is a huge power play against Zuma, and the reactions from Zuma supporters will be very interesting to monitor.

Zuma is hoping to gain the ANC party presidency at the upcoming ANC AGM, as a natural stepping stone to the presidency of the country. If Mbeki did make himself available for ANC presidency next year, which he has not ruled out, and he could get the requisite support, this could prove to be a significant obstacle for Zuma's SA presidency bid. Mbeki could thus control the party line, place key allies around him, and build the credence of other presidential candidates within the party. He could easily run interference on a Zuma campaign, and could make it very difficult for Zuma to control party support.

This is the opening salvo in the real campaigning in the succession battle, and just goes to show how interesting this battle is going to be.