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Vol 38 No 17

Published 29th August 1997

South Africa

Fighting for top jobs

Mandela's imminent retirement as ANC leader is the signal for a race for top jobs

Nothing can stop the carefully orchestrated ascendancy of Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, first to the African National Congress leadership and then to the South African presidency. The shadow over the ANC's crucial National Conference on 18-22 December is cast by infighting in its alliance with the Communist Party and the Trade Union Congress over other key ANC posts. At this 50th Conference, in Mafikeng, North West Province, Nelson Mandela will retire as ANC President and hand over to Mbeki and then, before the 1999 general elections, he will step down from the national presidency and hand that, too, over to Mbeki. Whether Mandela will then finally withdraw from the political scene is still unclear.

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