52nd National Conference of the African National Congress

52nd National Conference Of The African National Congress

52nd National Conference of the African National Congress

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The 52nd National Conference of the African National Congress (ANC) was held in Polokwane, Limpopo from December 16 to December 20, 2007. It elected Jacob Zuma and supporters to the party's top leadership and National Executive Committee (NEC), representing a significant defeat for Thabo Mbeki, then the party's incumbent president and president of the country.

The conference was significant as a precursor to the general election of 2009, in which the newly-elected leader of the ANC, the current majority party in the national parliament, is highly likely to become the next President of South Africa. (Thabo Mbeki resigned on 20 September 2008 and was replaced by Kgalema Motlanthe on 25 September 2008.) It was also the first leadership contest between two candidates at the national level since the 38th National Conference of the African National Congress in 1949, a watershed moment in the party's history when the moderate leadership was displaced by such figures as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.

Buildup

The buildup to the 52nd conference saw an unprecedented rivalry for the presidency of the ANC between Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. Mbeki, required by the country's constitution to relinquish the country's presidency at the end of his second term in 2009, nonetheless chose to stand for a third term as party president, as the ANC has no limit on the number of terms as party president. Zuma, the party's deputy president, had been deputy president of the country...
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