Publication: Independent Online Issued: Date: 2004-10-14 Reporter: Sapa

ANC Moves to Quell Mbeki Succession Rumours



Independent Online

Date 2004-10-14



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The African National Congress has rejected media speculation that it is opening debate on who is to succeed Thabo Mbeki as president of South Africa.

In a statement on Thursday - in response to such speculation - the party said it wanted to clarify a number of issues regarding the leadership succession.

While preparing for its forthcoming provincial conference, the ANC in Gauteng had prepared a number of discussion documents for consideration by their branches.

In one of these, dealing with organisational tasks and challenges of the movement, it was proposed, among other things, that ANC structures discuss improving the approach the organisation took to issues of cadre deployment and leadership succession.

"This discussion, it was argued, would help strengthen the unity and cohesion of the organisation," the ANC said.

The debate that the Gauteng discussion document recommended was a broad political discussion about the systems the ANC had for dealing with matters of leadership renewal and deployment.

"As such, it is a debate which is welcomed and encouraged.

"The document is not, as has been variously and rather sensationally claimed, a proposal to begin debating either who the next ANC president should be, or who the ANC's next candidate for the president of South Africa should be.

"The process for the selection of ANC leadership, whether provincial or national, will take place at the appropriate time, in accordance with the ANC constitution, and in line with the democratic political traditions of the movement.

"It is unfortunate that the proposal contained in this provincial discussion document has been so widely misinterpreted and misrepresented.

"It is similarly unfortunate that many within the media still seek sensationalism over substance and accuracy," the ANC said.

Those interested in the could study the document on the ANC's website.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Independent Online.