Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 15:13 UK

Zuma deputy poised to become MP

Kgalema Motlanthe
Kgalema Motlanthe could be given a cabinet job

South Africa's ruling party has submitted the name of its deputy leader Kgalema Motlanthe, seen as a possible president, to become an MP.

Mr Motlanthe became the ANC's number two in December, at the same time as Jacob Zuma was elected party leader.

As the ANC candidate, Mr Zuma would be the favourite to become South Africa's next president after 2009 elections.

But he faces a corruption trial in August and if convicted, Mr Motlanthe would be next in line.

The ANC wants Mr Motlanthe to become an MP, following the death of another ruling party parliamentarian.

An ANC statement suggests he will be appointed to cabinet but did not specify which post he would hold.

There is speculation that he could replace Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as deputy president, reports the AFP news agency.

Correspondents say there are two centres of power in South Africa at the moment - allies of President Thabo Mbeki and supporters of Mr Zuma, who hold all the top ANC positions.

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