"There is no substance to the fact that the former chairperson of the AU will be the president".
African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has dismissed reports that former African Union chair Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma could take over as interim South African president if Jacob Zuma steps down.
Ramaphosa, however, has reportedly turned down Zuma's demand for Dlamini-Zuma to be appointed Interim President and has suggested either Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu or National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete be appointed to the position temporarily.
The issue was however not discussed at the first NEC meeting held on Wednesday and may only feature at the next NEC meeting next week.
Gerrit van Rooyen, of NKC African Economics, said investors would scrutinise Ramaphosa's speech for clues on his policy preferences, as well as signals that President Jacob Zuma could be forced to step down soon.
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Ramaphosa will be speaking in East London on Saturday to mark 106 years since the ANC was founded.
Magashule explained that Zuma will attend the rally in his capacity as an ex officio member of the NEC. Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, who also held that post, were invited to the event, but they will not be able to participate because they are not in South Africa at present, Magashule said. The statement, drafted by the NEC and delivered by the party president, sets the tone for the year and influences the State Of the Nation Address.
Ramaphosa's speech comes a few months before the party launches its election campaign in preparation for the 2019 general elections.
"The NEC was emphatic that we must urgently implement the resolution to pursue expropriation of land without compensation with due regard to safeguarding and growing the agricultural sector and ensuring food security‚" Magashule said.