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Analysts predict 'close call' between Ramaphosa, Dlamini-Zuma for ANC top spot

The succession battle within the African National Congress remains a key talking point.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the keynote speaker at  a World Aids Day event in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg on 1 December 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The succession battle within the African National Congress (ANC) remains a key talking point with some political analysts saying it's going to be a close call between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma delivered what should be his final January 8 statement on Sunday as the governing party will elect a new leader in December.

The ANC Women's League on Saturday officially endorsed Dlamini-Zuma to be party leader at the National Executive committee meeting.

The league says her standing within the party and vast experience in the political arena makes her a favourable candidate.

But analyst Prince Mashele says there's nothing unique about Dlamini-Zuma.

“Yes she can occupy office as she has occupied offices in the past, but [there's nothing] outstanding about her that makes her uniquely qualified to hold the top office. Forget Jacob Zuma for a moment but just assess the quality of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.”

Gwede Mantashe previously reprimanded the league and other structures for pronouncing on their preferred candidates, saying the succession debate wasn’t officially open yet.

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(Edited by Neo Koza)