Analyst: New S. Africa party long planned

Oct. 20, 2008 at 8:19 AM   |   Comments

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PRETORIA, South Africa, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Leaders of a movement to establish a party to rival South Africa's African National Congress have been planning the move for months, an analyst says.

Former South African Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota has reportedly said a breakaway party will be launched shortly, saying it is a spontaneous reaction to the ANC's decision to force the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki. But many believe Lekota and his allies have been planning to splinter the ANC since last year, the Voice of America reported Monday.

South African political science Professor Rok Ajulu told the broadcaster that Lekota and others have been laying the groundwork for a new party since last December's ANC party conference in Polokwane, where Jacob Zuma was elected party leader over Mbeki.

"According to developments of the last two or three weeks, it was very clear that after the recall of the former president, his loyalists decided that they were moving out of the party," Ajulu told VOA. "There has been speculation that this is not something new, that following the defeat of (Mbeki) in Polokwane there have been movements to move out of the party by the group that was defeated at Polokwane."

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