The ANC leadership can continue burying its head in the sand and say there is no succession debate, but the reality is that the debate is raging and the ANC is deeply divided on the matter.
Rumour has it that people are even afraid to visit Luthuli House because if the person they greet in the passage is Kgalema Motlanthe or Fikile Mbalula then they are branded "Zumites".
Of course, these could just be rumours, but as the old saying goes: there is no smoke without a fire.
Meanwhile, Jacob Zuma is smoking. He has hit the presidential campaign trail. Last weekend saw him taking a public HIV-Aids test - something that Thabo Mbeki and many other ANC leaders have baulked at.
He then visited the family of farm-murder victim Willie Slabbert in Meyerton.
Zuma then spoke about the need for the ruling party to engage Afrikaners who complain about being marginalised.
This is clearly about winning the hearts and minds of the people. It is serious campaigning by Zuma despite denials by his aides.
Political analyst Sipho Seepe has warned that Zuma is making inroads while the ANC leadership continues trying to put a lid on the succession debate.
The danger is that by the time the lid is lifted it could be too late. By then it would be difficult for any challenger to play catch-up.
Last week also saw efforts to put a lid on the debate being challenged, this time by controversial former ANC Women's League president Winnie Madikizela- Mandela.
At her 70th birthday celebration at Vodaworld, Madikizela- Mandela broke rank and publicly declared her support for Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the next president.
Such a public endorsement by someone like Madikizela-Mandela should ring alarm bells among those who never saw Dlamini-Zuma as a contender.
Madikizela-Mandela is no longer actively involved in ANC affairs, but she is still one of the most popular political figures in the country, even within ANC structures.
Her struggle credentials, her forthrightness and her ability to show empathy for ordinary people still draw the people to her.
Her influence is proved by the fact that, come election time, the ANC is always prepared to pull her out of the political wilderness and use her to canvass for votes.
By endorsing Dlamini-Zuma she has further compounded the difficult task that the ANC is facing in choosing the right candidate to succeed Mbeki.
The situation is further compounded by the fact that Mbeki's possible successor as the president of the country might not necessarily turn out to be the new leader of the ANC.
These are challenging times indeed for the ruling party.
What the general public expects of the ANC is that at its national policy conference in June the party will come up with policies that will deal with the concerns raised about its members' propensity for self-enrichment.
Other concerns that will have to be addressed include unemployment and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor.
Party members expect new office bearers who will take the party's transformation agenda forward and ensure that the majority of South Africans start enjoying the benefits of living in a country that boasts a little less than 13 years of freedom from apartheid.