South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has warned of a “silent war” within the governing African National Congress (ANC), as the battle to succeed him heats up.
The party has been tearing itself apart, losing ground in elections, and is becoming increasingly corrupt.
Mr Zuma called for unity at the end of the party’s policy conference in the commercial capital, Johannesburg.
“There is a war that is silent, and that destabilises ANC. It can’t be right. You almost have two organisations existing in one,” he told delegates.
But Mr Zuma is, himself, the biggest source of division.
He is beset by allegations of corruption – that he and his allies have been “captured” by crooked businessmen. He strongly denies the allegation.
His opponents in the ANC want their man, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to take over as party leader at its elective conference in December.
Mr Zuma has endorsed his former wife, Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma, who returned to South Africa at the end of her stint as African Union commission chairwoman in January.
Some believe the wrong choice could mean the ANC gets voted out of power nationwide in 2019.
Today Mr Zuma suggested that the party might be healed if the runner-up at the December conference becomes deputy leader of the ANC. That may prove to be a hard sell.
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