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South Africa's deputy president challenges President Jacob Zuma to lead ruling ANC party

A spokesman for South Africa's Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says the politician has accepted a nomination to run for the top position in the governing African National Congress party.

Thabo Masebe told The Associated Press on Thursday that Motlanthe had accepted nominations to run for president, deputy president and another position within the ANC. Motlanthe already serves as deputy president of the party.

In running for the ANC presidency, Motlanthe will challenge South African President Jacob Zuma. Zuma already has strong support within the party to retain his position at next week's Mangaung convention.

Becoming leader of the ANC means a nearly automatic ticket to becoming the president in post-apartheid South Africa. Opposition parties don't garner the widespread support given to the ANC, the party of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.