South Africa’s Communications Minister, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburi, has taken over the presidency of the country but it will only be for a few hours until a new leader is sworn in later today.
Casaburi’s interim appointment was with effect from last night after Thabo Mbeki’s final cabinet meeting in Tshwane.
Casaburi did not resign along with 11 other ministers who did so in solidarity with former President Thabo Mbeki.
Mbeki resigned on Sunday, in a somber but dignified speech focusing on the successes and shortcomings of his nine-year presidency, Mbeki said he had submitted a letter to the speaker of Parliament “to tender my resignation from the high position of President of the Republic of South Africa.”
He said he would stand down on a date to be determined by Parliament, which will convene today to select an interim president to serve until next year’s elections.
Kgalema Motlanthe, who is also Vice President of the African National Congress, is widely tipped to become the interim head of state, paving the way for Mbeki’s nemesis, Jacob Zuma, to take over after the elections.
The ANC has a huge majority and is expected to romp to victory in the polls despite its upheavals.
“I am convinced that the incoming administration will better the work done during the past 14-and-half years so that poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, illiteracy, challenges of health, crime and corruption will cease to define the lives of many of our people,” Mbeki said.
Mbeki, 66, lost the final battle in the long struggle against ANC President Zuma, his former deputy, on Saturday. Mbeki was pressured to quit after a judge threw out a corruption case against Zuma earlier this month on a legal technicality and implied that Mbeki’s administration had put political pressure on prosecutors.
By ITnewsAfrica.com Reporter