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Vol 55 No 24

Published 5th December 2014

South Africa

The succession war has begun

Zuma is moving to protect his future as factions form up for the battle to decide who will be the next president

President Jacob Zuma had barely taken office last May before the first shots in the battle to succeed him were fired. He has already blocked the election of a new leadership for the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), fearing that the top candidates could spearhead a new opposition to his rule. Yet the governing ANC's next national elective conference, when Zuma will have to step down as party chief, is still over two years away. Like William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Zuma is consumed by the fear that he will be deposed before the end of his term of office, in much the same way that he unseated Thabo Mbeki from the leadership of both party and state.

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