Mbeki Likely to Lose ANC Leadership

Controversial Zuma predicted to defeat prez for party helm
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2007 10:39 AM CST
Jacob Zuma, left, and South African President Thabo Mbeki, right, during a swearing in ceremony in Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa in this April, 23, 2004 file photo.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With only three days to go until the African National Congress meets to choose a new leader, South African President Thabo Mbeki looks set to lose his position at the top of his party and might be forced to retire before the end of his term. Jacob Zuma, Mbeki's highly controversial rival, has shored up a seemingly unstoppable support—though he might yet again be charged with corruption, says the Mail and Guardian.

Mbeki sacked Zuma as deputy president in 2005 following accusations of fraud and rape, which were both dismissed. Zuma's rise to the top of the party, which almost guarantees his election as president of South Africa in 2009, would represent a stunning comeback. Zuma has said he expects a major say in policy if elected and will push Mbeki out of the presidency if denied.