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ANC seeks leadership deal to avoid split

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Cape Town - Top officials in the African National Congress (ANC) are pushing the party to reach an agreement on who will succeed President Jacob Zuma as its leader in December, to avoid a split that could see it lose power.

The bitter divide between supporters of the two front-runners, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife, could result in defections by supporters of the losing candidate as happened a decade ago when Zuma toppled Thabo Mbeki as party leader.

Members who broke away formed the Congress of the People, which took 7% of the vote in 2009 elections, and three years later, the Economic Freedom Fighters, now the third-biggest party, was created by ANC deserters.

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