Original Research

An investigation whether the deputy president of the African National Congress can be the successor to the president during the National Elective Conference

Mavhungu E. Musitha, Mavhungu A. Mafukata
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 6, No 1 | a203 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v6i1.203 | © 2018 Mavhungu E. Musitha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 October 2017 | Published: 28 March 2018

About the author(s)

Mavhungu E. Musitha, Vhutali Leadership and Management Institute, South Africa
Mavhungu A. Mafukata, Vhutali Leadership and Management Institute, South Africa


This is a qualitative study which investigated whether the deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC) can be the heir and elected president in the December 2017 elective conference. The study found that the deputy president is not the heir to the position of the president but that anybody can be elected to the position in terms of the existing constitution. The study also found that while the ANC has a constitution that prescribes how members are elected to positions, it is open to manipulation by those who wish to position their preferred comrades. The ANC does not have a clear policy or procedure to decide who succeeds to the presidency. This lack of policy has led to infighting among the comrades along factional lines as they seek to capture the soul of the ANC. The study found that most former liberation ruling parties such as ZANU–PF and the South West African People’s Organisation are faced with the same challenge. The Chinese Communist Party has faced and overcome this challenge by formulating a clear policy and procedure on who becomes the president or leader of the party. The study recommends that the ANC should formulate clear policies and regulations to define and determine who becomes its president.


Deputy President; African National Congress; Presidential leadership; National Policy Conference; Political unity


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