World Bulletin / News Desk
South African President Jacob Zuma on Saturday blamed infighting and perceived corruption for the troubles of the ANC party, which risks losing power for the first time since the end of apartheid.
The two front-runners in the divisive party leadership race are his ex-wife and former African Union head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a wealthy businessman.
The 75-year-old Zuma said the party's poor local election results last year "were a stark reminder that our people are not happy with the state of the ANC".
He blamed the decline in support on "perceptions in society that we are soft on corruption, self-serving and arrogant."
"Petty squabbling that takes us nowhere needs to take a back seat," he said.
"Our people are frustrated when we spend more time fighting among ourselves instead of solving the daily challenges they experience... Factionalism has become the biggest threat to our movement."
The ANC is still South Africa's biggest party by far, but the 54 percent it won in local elections last year was its worst poll result since the 1994 elections that marked the end of white-minority rule.
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