Oct 12, 2012

Motlanthe book launch fires off ANC leadership race

Kgalema Motlanthe

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's book launch turned into a rowdy pro-change rally favouring the enigmatic leader, despite his attempts otherwise.

"Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, honourable ministers Tokyo Sexwale and Trevor Manuel, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe ..."

There was a pause as the audience waited for the introductory speaker, Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley, to do the requisite welcome. Instead he burst out with: "Can't you all just lock yourselves in a room and sort out this Mangaung thing?"

The Great Hall at Wits University exploded in a roar of applause, not least from the knot of supporters who had danced in the aisles singing pro-change songs relating to the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in December and making the notorious "shower sign" in reference to President Jacob Zuma.

Kgalema Motlanthe: A Political Biography by Ebrahim Harvey was launched on Thursday evening after much speculation that the event would finally fire the gun on the reticent Motlanthe's presidential bid.

While official nominations opened last week for the ANC's top six positions after months of skirmishes, Motlanthe refused to comment on nominations in his favour for the top job, saying he would respond within proper channels once the process was concluded.

But Harvey insisted the book wasn't timed to be part of a campaign.

"There is a perception out there that this book was deliberately timed to coincide with Mangaung nominations," he told the audience. "Nothing could be further from the truth. There were numerous delays in getting this book out and it has nothing to do with Mangaung."

He mentioned that the country and the ANC were facing a social and political crisis.

"I think that timing for me is more important than this Mangaung mania."

Kgalema Motlanthe: A Political BiographyHe said the ANC's attempts to pretend there wasn't a crisis were "ridiculous", to applause.... Click here to continue reading the rest of the article, written by Verashni Pillay and published in the Mail and Guardian.

See also: Motlanthe remains a closed book, by Dominic Mahlangu (Times Live)

Publication date: October 2012

Author: Ebrahim Harvey
Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
ISBN: 9781431404384

ORDER ONLINE: Kalahari.com