President Jacob Zuma gave the first hint on Thursday that he did not back Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed him, telling SABC radio stations that it was not ANC policy for a deputy to ascend to the highest office. Speaking to Motsweding FM, Lesedi FM and Thobela FM listeners, Zuma said it was not true that an ANC culture existed in terms of which a deputy must become president. Zuma’s responses appeared to be a retort to party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who told reporters on Wednesday that when the party elected a deputy, it should have succession in mind. Mantashe’s statement was widely interpreted as an endorsement of Ramaphosa’s campaign to become president. Ramaphosa’s backers, including Cosatu, have argued that it is ANC tradition for a deputy to rise to highest office. Zuma appeared to be punting his former wife, outgoing AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed him, saying she had joined the struggle before marrying him. He listed her leade...

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