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S. Africa's finance minister and 13 others resign
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South Africa's Finance Minister Trevor Manuel is among eleven Cabinet ministers and threedeputy ministers who have tendered their resignations.

Their letters of resignation had been received by President Thabo Mbeki "which, regretfully, he has had to accept", the presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.

Among them was Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who had earlier in the day made her own announcement.

She steps down from the position to which she was appointed after ANC president Jacob Zuma was released from his responsibilities as deputy president in 2005.

One of the reasons she gave was to allow a new president the opportunity to choose their own deputy.

The ANC has chosen its deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe for caretaker president, but his appointment remains subject to a votein the National Assembly on Thursday when Mbeki's resignation willtake effect.

Another resignation was that of Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad, who has been expected to leave office ever since the ANC's decision on Saturday to recall Mbeki.

"His resignation will come into effect once they accept the president's resignation in parliament," his spokesman Samson Phakwago said on Monday.

Mbeki's letter of resignation was received by the National Assembly on Sunday, after the ANC's announcement on Saturday that it was recalling him.

The other ministers whose resignations were announced on Tuesday were those of: defence, Mosiuoa Lekota; intelligence, Ronnie Kasrils; correctional services, Ngconde Balfour; public enterprises, Alec Erwin; science and technology, Mosibudi Mangena;public works, Thoko Didiza; provincial and local government, Sydney Mufamadi; and public service and administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

The deputy ministers who resigned are those of: foreign affairs,Aziz Pahad; finance, Jabu Moleketi and correctional services, Loretta Jacobus.

"The resignations will be effective from the day that the president's resignation takes effect(Thursday)," the presidency said.

"All the ministers have expressed their availability to assist the incoming administration in the hand-over process and any other assistance that might be sought from them.

"President Mbeki thanked the deputy president, the ministers and the deputy ministers for their dedicated service to the nation and wished them well in their future endeavours," it said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2008)

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