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Vol 44 No 18

Published 12th September 2003

South Africa

Struggling to succeed

Mbeki moves the chess pieces as the 2004 elections draw near and scandals rage

The African National Congress had studiously avoided an open succession struggle since going into exile four decades ago. Now no holds are barred as it prepares for April's elections, which should give President Thabo Mbeki (AC Vol 44 No 17) his second five-year term. Tension is rising over his strategy to derail Jacob Zuma as Deputy President and impose his own choice, ready to take over in 2009 as the country's third black president. The top-level power struggle has turned ugly. The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka, seemed to have trapped Zuma neatly between the accusation that there was 'prima facie evidence' against him of corruption in the current arms scandal (see Box) but not enough evidence to take him to court.

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