'JZ will serve only one term as president'

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma intends following the example of former president Nelson Mandela and serve only one term as president of the country.

Zuma also has no intention of purging current cabinet ministers who are seen as being opposed to him becoming the president of both the ANC and of the country.

"Zuma will be 72 years at the end of his term as president of the country and he intends handing over the reins to someone else," said a Zuma loyalist.

Yesterday Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the labour federation would not oppose such a move by Zuma.

ANC Youth League spokesman Zizi Kodwa said his organisation had confidence in Zuma that he would "do what is in the interest of the party".

Kodwa said the ANCYL did not believe in purges and would support any move to retain ministers who had acquitted themselves well in their portfolios "regardless of whether they supported Zuma's presidential campaign".

There has been speculation that individuals such as Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, Social Welfare Minister Zola Skweyiya, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana and Education Minister Naledi Pandor could remain part of Zuma's government come 2009.

These ministers have been commended for running their departments effectively. Manuel, specifically, has been commended for putting the country on a stable economic path.

Pandor, however, faces the challenge of being up against SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, who is regarded as the most suitable candidate for the portfolio within the Zuma camp.

Vavi has dispelled speculation that he was the future minister of labour after he indicated that he was not interested in the portfolio.

Vavi's argument is that there has been a trend where previous Cosatu general secretaries have gone on to obtain powerful positions in both government and the private sector.