Motlanthe silent on Mangaung nomination

Kgalema Motlanthe remains silent on whether he will run against Jacob Zuma at Mangaung.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as pictured on 31 May 2012. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Despite several sources confirming that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is set to run against President Jacob Zuma for the ANC's top job, Motlanthe is still playing his cards close to his chest.

The deputy president spoke at the launch of the Moses Kotane Foundation on Wednesday night, at the Liliesleaf Museum in Johannesburg.

He did not once mention the electoral conference at Mangaung.

Motlanthe also would not confirm that he was set to accept his nomination.

He made known his admiration for struggle activist Kotane, who is known for uniting the ANC, the South African Communist Party and the labour movement.

"Few would disagree that if only half of us in the ANC and society could make the ideas for which Moses Kotane lived his entire adult life a way of life, our efforts at bringing about a united, non-racial, non-sexist, just and prosperous society could be realised within the wink of an eye."

When Kotane left South Africa for Tanzania in 1963, he became the treasurer general for the ANC in exile.

The foundation, established in 2011, aims to contribute to social transformation.

Motlanthe said one of Kotane's greatest contributions and legacies to the country was that he valued education and what it could do to help tackle poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Motlanthe and Kotane's widow, Rebecca, were named patrons of the foundation, while Reverend Frank Chikane and Brigalia Bam were announced as board members.

But throughout his speech, Motlanthe did not approach the topic of Mangaung, despite several sources revealing on Wednesday afternoon that he would be running against President Jacob Zuma.

Despite the ANC conference scheduled to get underway on Sunday, Motlanthe has so far remained mum on whether he plans to take Zuma on.

ANC delegates will discuss and adopt policies as well as elect their top six leaders at the four-day-long conference.

Six ANC provinces have said they will back Zuma.