South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Trevor Manuel, head of the National Planning Commission, won’t return to Parliament after May 7 elections, indicating they may quit politics.
The National Assembly has scheduled farewell tributes for Motlanthe and Manuel at a sitting tomorrow, according to a program of events published by Parliament. Thabo Masebe, Motlanthe’s spokesman, confirmed by phone from Pretoria that the deputy president was retiring, while Dumisa Jele, Manuel’s chief of staff, declined to comment.
The ANC’s list of candidates nominated as lawmakers, which gives an indication of who will fill the top posts in the government, hasn’t yet been published. Under South Africa’s constitution, the president must select his deputy from the members of the National Assembly, while only two ministers may be chosen who aren’t members of Parliament.
Manuel, 58, served as finance minister from 1996 to 2009 and helped oversee the longest period of economic growth. President Jacob Zuma then appointed him to head the planning commission, which was tasked with developing a 20-year blueprint for the economy.
Motlanthe, 64, a former labor union leader, failed in a bid to wrest control of the ANC from Zuma at the party’s elective conference in December 2012.