South Africa's ANC said close to split

Oct. 8, 2008 at 9:02 AM
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A South African leader who quit the government over the treatment of former President Thabo Mbeki says the African National Congress is close to splitting.

The ANC, which has been a monolithic force in South Africa's post-apartheid history, is close to a "parting of the ways" because of power struggle between party leader Jacob Zuma and those who oppose him, Mosiuoa Lekota told The New York Times.

Lekota was one of several government ministers who quit in protest after Zuma-led forces within the ANC forced Mbeki to resign. While declining to say he and other dissidents would form a new party to rival the ANC, Lekota said that a time of reckoning was coming for the party of Nelson Mandela.

"This is probably the parting of the ways, it probably is," Lekota said at a news conference in Johannesburg. "We hope that sense will still prevail in us. If not, there's no going back. It seems that we are serving today divorce papers."

The comments came after Zuma, who won the leadership of the ANC in December, issued a cautionary statement against dissent within the party.

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