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Vol 49 No 20

Published 3rd October 2008

South Africa

'Elder brother' Motlanthe

He may have preferred to coach Bafana Bafana, but Kgalema Motlanthe is now Acting President of South Africa

In 1997, the quiet, unassuming but cerebral Kgalema Motlanthe was nominated by the left wing of the African National Congress tripartite alliance as ANC General Secretary, as a pro-worker bulwark against the party’s pro-business Thabo Mbeki-led leadership.His liking for privacy meant that he never submitted a curriculum vitae and his staff had to write one up quickly the day before his inauguration. Yet he knows all about his party’s membership and structures, has broad and active support, and commands respect as an impartial leader.

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