Motlanthe steps down - Paving the way for Ramaphosa to become deputy president

2014-02-18 00:00

Sister paper Beeld has established that Motlanthe did not put forward his name for the ANC’s list of candidates for the coming national elections and will not serve in government after the elections.

“This leaves the door open for Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s deputy president, to be appointed as deputy president of South Africa,” said a source, who asked not to be named.

President Jacob Zuma appointed Ramaphosa last week as the special mediator for South Sudan and Sri Lanka.

Sources in the ANC yesterday said this step was to introduce Ramaphosa to the international community.

“The idea is that he will be well known in the international political community when he is appointed as deputy president of South Africa after the elections,” one source said.

International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said Ramaphosa is the special envoy of President Zuma.

He said Ramaphosa would help with the negotiations in the internal political struggle in South Sudan, while his role in Sri Lanka will be to help with reconciliation and nation building. Monyela said these would not be full-time jobs.

Another ANC veteran, the MP Professor Ben Turok, will also not return to Parliament. He made an important contribution to drawing up the ANC’s Freedom Charter in 1955.

“I am not returning, partly because of health reasons and partly because I want to spend more time on the publication that I edit, New Agenda,” Turok said yesterday.

An ANC heavyweight who is seemingly making his comeback to politics is Tito Mboweni, former labour minister and former governor of the SA Reserve Bank.

Mboweni yesterday resigned as chair of the gold mining giant AngloGold Ashanti, a move that is seen as preparing for a possible cabinet post.

Speculation is that Mboweni will become the minister of finance in the new government that will be announced after May 7.

The Mail & Guardian last week reported that Mboweni (54) had been earmarked for the post with Pravin Gordhan approaching retirement age.

If he is appointed in Gordhan’s stead, Mboweni will be the first black African finance minister.

Mboweni was seen as a supporter of former president Thabo Mbeki and his return to the political arena started in 2012 when he was re-elected to the party’s national executive committee at the Mangaung elective congress.

Mboweni tweeted on Sunday that cabinet ministers were not appointed by the media, which he said was pre-empting the president’s prerogative.

One source said such changes in alliances were how things worked in politics.

“Today you are with me, tomorrow you are with someone else.”

Mboweni could not be reached for comment yesterday.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the party had not yet made public its list of candidates for the national elections and he would therefore not comment on the list or the names on it.

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