Motlanthe replaces Mbeki as South African president

September 25th, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Sep 25 (Xinhua) The South African parliament Thursday elected Kgalema Motlanthe, the deputy leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), as the interim president of the country. Motlanthe, who won an overwhelming approval of parliament that was convened Thursday morning, will serve as president until April next year when South Africa will hold presidential elections.

Motlandthe became South Africa’s third president since democracy in 1994 replacing Thabo Mbeki, who announced resignation Sunday at the demand of the ANC over a court finding of political interference in ANC leader Jacob Zuma’s prosecution for corruption.

Mbeki became President in 1999, taking over from Nelson Mandela. He was due to leave office in April, 2009.

He was the head of the ANC from 1997 until he lost a battle for power at the ANC’s national conference in Polokwane in December 2007, when Zuma, his former deputy president, became the head of the organization.

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