South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress )ANC) has dismissed the notion of a tradition in its ranks which dictates that the party’s deputy president becomes an automatic choice to succeed the president when the latter’s term of office ends.

The ruling party was reacting to the ongoing debates regarding succession which have caused divisions among members despite calls by the party president, Jacob Zuma, for unity during the January 8th Statement marking the anniversary of the founding of the party here on Sunday.

However, questions are being raised about unity. ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday rebutted a list making rounds among some media, purporting to be a slate for ANC deputy president and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for the party’s elective conference in December.

He also dismissed the so-called succession tradition in the party.

Mantashe said: “I want us to move out of this narrative of a tradition that does not exist in reality. But once you have a deputy and you elect somebody else you ask yourself difficult questions, ‘is the deputy not competent enough to be successor?'”

He said the ANC needed to hold a debate on the reasons why a deputy president should not be regarded competent enough to ascend to the top position.

Mantashe also reacted to the ANC Women’s League nominating outgoing African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed Zuma, her former husband, as leader of the ANC, despite calls by the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) for the various structures of the party to refrain from making such pronouncements.

“There are people in the NEC who are attracted to thrive in chaos and divisions,” he added.

The ANC will take the message of unity to the provinces, starting with President Zuma visiting Limpopo Province, next week.

Source: Nam News Network