President Nelson Mandela formally told his party he won’t seek re-election in 1999, the African National Congress said Sunday.
Mandela, 78, has repeatedly said he believes he is too old for a second term.
His formal announcement that he will not run in elections scheduled for 1999 and that he would not seek the party leadership again, came during a weekend meeting of the ANC’s top decision-making body.
Earlier this year, Mandela endorsed Deputy President Thabo Mbeki as his choice to take over the presidency. Mbeki is also Mandela’s ANC deputy.
Mandela became president in 1994 following South Africa’s first all-race election.