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South Africa choses interim president
The African National Congress has just said this morning that its deputy leader Kgalema Motlanthe would become the country’s president until next year’s election.

The African National Congress has just said this morning that its deputy leader Kgalema Motlanthe would become the country’s president until next year’s election.

Motlanthe, who already sits in the cabinet, was named to take over from Mbeki until elections due around April next year during a meeting of the ANC’s parliamentary caucus, ANC MPs said on condition of anonymity.

Motlanthe is a left-leaning intellectual who has never sought the limelight.

Reports say ANC spokesperson Khotso Khumalo said parliament will vote on the president in the next few days.

Parliament is widely expected to choose Motlanthe as president on Thursday after the African National Congress nominates him on the floor.

He is a left-leaning intellectual, widely respected by both the radical leftists and business tycoons within the ANC.

He is seen as a figure who could help heal the deepest divisions in the party’s history.

On Monday ANC leader Jacob Zuma confirmed his backing for Motlanthe as he pledged that the party would ensure a smooth transition and economic policy continuity despite the biggest political crisis since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has also resigned following Mbeki’s announcement that he was stepping down.

"The deputy president has resigned. You can quote me on that. It coincides with Mbeki’s resignation," Denzil Taylor is quoted as saying.


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