22 FEB 2013 00:00 - MATUMA LETSOALO, MMANALEDI MATABOGE
KwaZulu-Natal Jacob Zuma supporters say the ANC's deputy president cannot be trusted not to reopen the corruption probe.
"They [Zuma supporters] can't afford to take that risk. As things stand, it is not a given that the president will appoint Ramaphosa his deputy in government," said an ANC leader sympathetic to Zuma. "He is even thinking about convincing Motlanthe to stay as the country's deputy president beyond the 2014 elections. If he fails to convince Motlanthe, he will approach Baleka Mbete [ANC chairperson] or another senior female leader within the ANC to occupy the position until the party elects a new deputy president in 2017."
"How do you think of such a thing? There is nothing of such [a] nature. We don't know about that [the 20- year plan]. It would be wrong to say this is KZN's time to lead the ANC. Even President Zuma is leading because he is acknowledged as the leader in the whole country. KZN alone would not have made him president," said Zikalala.
A KwaZulu-Natal leader in the ANC-led alliance said the succession plan had come to the fore because some party leaders knew that Zuma would not be re-elected for another term.
"There is also an age issue. In politics, once you lose out on an opportunity, five years becomes a long time and you are unlikely to get that opportunity again."