Motlanthe is sworn in as MP

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe was sworn in as a member of parliament yesterday, paving the way for him to be appointed to President Thabo Mbeki's cabinet.

Motlanthe's entry to the National Assembly has been expected for some time since the ANC asked Mbeki to find a suitable position for him in his executive.

His cabinet appointment may be announced soon.

Motlanthe, together with speaker Baleka Mbete, will be the most senior ANC members in parliament and after his move to the cabinet he will be seen as "shadow president".

Observers said calls within the ANC for Mbeki to step down have been fuelled by the party's desire to appoint Motlanthe as acting president until next year's elections.

In addition to SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa is the latest top ANC leader to call for Mbeki to resign.

The ANC parliamentary caucus yesterday welcomed Motlanthe's parliamentary appointment.

Also sworn in as an MP was former Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo, who is also an NEC member.