President Jacob Zuma to step down as ANC leader once his term ends in 2012 and make way for new leadership. One government official told the Mail & Guardian that planning is already under way in the ruling party and the government for the post-2012 scenario and that Zuma is not expected to return as ANC leader. "Its almost certain that he wont make it to a second term. He's damaged goods -- so we have to look beyond him." 'Time for a new leader' Another government official and ANC Youth League leader confirmed that moves are afoot in the ANC's youth and women's wings to "ask JZ to not avail himself for a second term". "We think its time for a new leader. JZ did what he was meant to do -- get rid of Mbeki -- now he must make room for others. He isn't strong enough to fight the communists and the unions and he wants to make everyone happy, while we need a decisive leader," said the official. The M&G understands that the lobby group working to install Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula as the next ANC secretary general sees Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as the party's next president, with Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale as his deputy and Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu as chairperson. Informed circles see Motlanthe as Zuma's successor because of the ANC tradition of elevating the deputy president to the top job. Although most ANC leaders believe Mbalula will be the partys next secretary general, those aligned with Cosatu and the South African Communist Party will continue to back the incumbent, Gwede Mantashe. The real battle is shaping up for the deputy presidency, which will prepare the incumbent to take on the top job after the following elective conference, in 2016. In addition to Sexwale, Sisulu and ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete are seen as contenders for the post and are expected use the ANCs gender equity policy to push their candidacy. But some see Sisulu as the frontrunner because of her active role in government and the party.