Mandela Backs Mbeki for Second Term
Former South African president Nelson Mandela gave a vote of confidence to embattled President Thabo Mbeki here on Sunday.
"Thabo Mbeki is a remarkable man, he is intelligent, very bright, alert, hard working -- he is the driving force between the present government," he told the BBC.
"I will gladly support him for the second term."
Asked to comment on rumors of a plot by rivals within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to challenge the president, Mandela reiterated his confidence in the three accused men.
"Until there is concrete and credible evidence to the contary, I will continue to hold Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale and Mathews Phosa in high esteem," he said.
Mandela added that Ramaphosa "would be one of the right people to lead South Africa" should the businessman decide one day to run for president.
South Africa's first black president added that the ANC had never been as strong as it was today.
Mandela is in London on a four-day visit to take part in celebrations marking the seventh anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa.
He was to attend Sunday a "Freedom Day" concert in Trafalgar Square, where the South African embassy is located. REM, Atomic Kitten and the Corrs were among the groups billed to play at the concert – LONDON (AFP)
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