ANC decides on early general elections

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The ANC National Executive Committee has decided against holding an early general election.

The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) has decided against holding an early general election.

ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe says the NEC agreed at its recent meeting to allow the current government to complete its five-year term.

The decision followed proposals within the ANC to have the next general elections as early as February 2009.

Reports say proposal emanated from discussions around the transition from the current administration to the next.

If adopted, the proposal would have seen Thabo Mbeki stepping down before completing his term next April.

Jacob Zuma is expected to be the next president despite his court battles.

ANC Youth League through its young president Julius Malema has repeatedly vowed that Zuma would lead the party from prison if he was ever arrested.

“If you arrest him, he will lead us from prison,” said Malema.

Zuma, who is widely tipped to become the next President of South Africa, appeared in Pietermaritzburg High Court early August for a two-day hearing on the legality of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money-laundering charges laid against him last year.

The main charge against him is that he allegedly received bribes for protecting French arms company, Thint, in an investigation into a controversial arms deal.

Zuma has sought to have the case against him thrown out, making it likely the long-awaited trial will be further delayed.

It is the second time the state has attempted to prosecute Zuma for corruption. A judge struck the prosecutors’ last bid off in 2006, declaring their case against the populist leader was a disaster.

Zuma’s lawyers want the case declared unlawful, and if this is not successful will bring an application for a permanent stay of prosecution, arguing that repeated delays render a fair trial impossible.

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