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ANC: No truth to Motlanthe's resignation rumour

Nickolaus Bauer

The ANC is attempting to quash rumours that Kgalema Motlanthe will resign as South Africa's deputy president, saying that nothing has been discussed.

President Jacob Zuma with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The ANC on Thursday attempted to quash rumours of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's imminent resignation, following his loss to Jacob Zuma in the race to become ruling party president at their Mangaung elective conference.

"No such thing has been discussed," party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told journalists during a media briefing at the conference.

"When I ask him [Motlanthe] about these reports on the radio he just laughs, and asks me where I hear these terrible things."

Mthembu said Motlanthe remains a deployee of the ANC in his current position of deputy president of the republic until 2014 – the year of the next general election.

After Motlanthe lost to Zuma at Mangaung he refused to stand for a position on the ruling party's National Executive Committee (NEC).

The move leaves Motlanthe's future in politics in doubt.

People close to Motlanthe told the Mail & Guardian on Tuesday he was increasingly unable to contain his frustration with Zuma and may find his position untenable.

He also declined a nomination for the ANC deputy presidency ahead of the ballot, and the position was won by businessman Cyril Ramaphosa.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe also moved to dispel rumours that Ramaphosa has been "anointed South Africa's prime minister".

"There is no such position in South Africa. The deputy president is the de facto prime minister as he is the leader of government business," he said.

Mantashe added that speculation about Ramaphosa's future was unwarranted and premature. "We are not electing any government officials here, we are electing office bearers of the ANC," Mantashe said.

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