Mathabatha: Limpopo to back tried and tested leader to succeed Zuma

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha says names are being discussed within provincial structures on who to succeed Jacob Zuma as ANC leader.

FILE: ANC president Jacob Zuma (centre) at the party's national executive committee meeting. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Limpopo Premier and African National Congress (ANC) chairperson Stan Mathabatha has told Eyewitness News that his province will only back a tried and tested leader to succeed Jacob Zuma as president of the party.

In an exclusive interview, Mathabatha says the province is not in a hurry to voice its preferred candidate for the party’s top position but has emphasised that structures have already begun their consultative work.

He says among a range of issues being discussed, is the notion of whether or not it is ANC tradition that the deputy president automatically succeeds the president.

Mathabatha says the ANC has remained constant in electing its deputies to succeed presidents for decades.

He, however, says the notion is now being questioned during Zuma’s tenure, as to whether it is a tradition that the deputy should be the preferred candidate for the party’s top job.

“Now it’s Jacob Zuma, that’s when it’s been questioned to whether it’s principle, policy, tradition or culture. In my view, it’s a practice and a practice that’s been practised regularly, frequently.”

Mathabatha says names are being discussed within provincial structures on who to succeed Zuma, including those of Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

He emphasised that the province is on a quest to list a tried and tested leader as their preferred candidate.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)