Mbeki, Zuma should step aside

For the next 48 hours the ANC leadership will be behind doors attending the special national executive committee meeting.

For the next 48 hours the ANC leadership will be behind doors attending the special national executive committee meeting.

Obviously on the agenda will be the raging succession debate and how it has thrown the ruling party into a deep crisis.

ANC insiders claim there is a move to have President Thabo Mbeki and his deputy Jacob Zuma withdraw from the race.

It is the acrimony between the supporters of the two contenders that has created such divisions within the ANC and the tripartite alliance as a whole.

The ANC as the ruling party cannot afford to be ravaged by such division. To quote its spokesman, Smuts Ngonyama, the ANC is a leading party that has an impact on the majority of South Africans.

To reclaim its position the party leadership must do what former president Nelson Mandela has called for. They must rise above their personal and sectarian differences and act in the interest of the party.

Mbeki and Zuma have been tainted by this acrimonious leadership contest. In the interest of their party, and most South Africans, who have given them a mandate to rule this country, they should consider suggestions to step aside and allow its members to elect new leaders.

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