Mbete denies she was chasing deputy president post

Former deputy president Baleka Mbete has told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that she was not holding out for the job of deputy president again when she refused to be sworn in as an MP last week.

She told the public broadcaster on Tuesday that she knew perfectly well that she could not hang on to that post because it was earmarked for Kgalema Motlanthe, the deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC).

”It was always an interim arrangement,” she said.

She said she understood the fuss that was made when she kept her seat after being called to take the oath ”but it also caused an opportunity to distort what actually took place”, she said.

She said she was having discussions with the party president Jacob Zuma and another senior ANC official last Tuesday evening, but they were incomplete.

”We had discussions which were incomplete by Wednesday morning,” Mbete said.

”We were talking of finalising our views on the future of some senior leaders in the ANC. We needed to complete this exercise.”

She would not say what they were talking about or give further details of the discussions.

Mbete said she was happy with the decision — announced on Friday — that she would work full-time at Luthuli House, despite the fact that the party chair has always been in Parliament in the past 15 years.

”There’s a lot of work I have to do,” she said. — I-Net Bridge

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