South Africa preseident in waiting Jacob Zuma is racing aganist time to nominate his deputy amid reports today that top officials in the African National Congress (ANC) are still divided on who will be his deputy and what his executive will look like.
Appointing the cabinet is the president’s prerogative, but conflicting messages from senior party officials indicated that by Thursday Zuma had not yet been able to lock down his top team.
Reports today say confusion and division were heightened this week when ANC national chairwoman and current deputy president of the country Baleka Mbete did not take her oath in Parliament when MPs were sworn in on Wednesday.
Mbete’s name is said to have been on a list of people to be sworn in as MPs for ANC.
ANC spokeswoman Jessie Duarte is quoated saying that consultations on who would be the next deputy president “were deep and ongoing”.
“We don’t know who is going to be appointed. The consultations are not over. It is different in the sense that the process is comprehensive, and must include everyone,” Duarte said.
Whoever Zuma announces as his number two, the decision is likely to be seen as the first test of his independence, and is expected to set the tone for his presidency.
Zuma has to unite the different factions in the party as they prepare to take over the reins of state.
Zuma has said his Cabinet appointments could surprise some, emphasising that he wants an efficient and effective team to implement government policy.