Sensible move

2008-05-08 00:00

The National Working Committee of the ANC has announced that Kgalema Motlanthe has been nominated to fill a vacancy in Parliament. There is good sense in this decision because it will bring into the national chamber the newly elected deputy president of the ANC. Formerly he had been secretary general of the party and confined therefore to an internal bureaucratic role.

There is an expectation that Motlanthe will also become a member of the cabinet but this is entirely dependent on the decision of President Thabo Mbeki. It would be wise for Mbeki to make a space for him because it would provide an element of continuity into the period beyond the 2009 general election when Mbeki will end his tenure and Jacob Zuma will take over as the country’s president. There is, however, the possibility that Zuma will be found guilty in his trial for corruption in August, in which case Motlanthe will presumably step into his shoes.

Taking all this into account, good succession planning is entailed in bringing Motlanthe at this stage into the parliamentary arena. He should be in the nation’s executive as well.

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