The African National Congress (ANC) was split due to Mr. Zuma and Mr. Mbeki fighting for control of the party. At the African National Congress conference, it was Mr. Zuma who beat Mr. Mbeki and had won control of the party. Both trade union leaders and the South African Communist Party (SACP) called to for the inter-party fighting to stop.
According to BBC, South Africa has two focal points of power: the South African presidency and the ANC leadership. Mr. Mbeki is still the president of South Africa with Mr. Zuma being the leader of the ANC.
As leader of the ANC, Mr. Zuma is a potential candidate to become South Africa’s next president when Mr. Mbeki’s presidency ends in 2009.
Mr. Zuma had won leadership of the ANC by a vote of 2,329 to 1,505. His supporters also won five other top positions in the ANC. On Thursday, Mr. Zuma will address the ANC and lay out his vision for South Africa’s future.
“Our movement is a movement of the people in the end and I think what this has signaled is that we went too far ahead in focusing on making sure what we did appeared to be right than making sure we truly represent the poor,” Mr. Zuma said to BBC.
Another issue that caused the country to be split apart according to correspondents is the land redistribution issue.
The Landless People’s Movement in 2004 accused the government of failing to deliver on a promise of the redistribution of a quarter of the country’s agricultural land from 60,000 white farmers. Only two percent was transferred.
Mr. Zuma was fired as deputy president over allegations of corruption. As a result, he had a falling out with Mr. Mbeki when this happened in 2005. However, Mr. Zuma could still be charged with corruption due to an arms deal worth millions of dollars.
Last year, a rape case against Mr. Zuma was thrown out by the judge.
Before the voting began for the ANC leadership, Nelson Mandela the former president of South Africa said he was sad by the nature of the differences taking place.