The ANC Women’s League has issued a statement saying it will formally back Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed Jacob Zuma as ANC president.
Pretoria – The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) will formally back Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her ex-husband President Jacob Zuma as ANC president as well as South African president, the league said on Saturday.
In a statement issued after its extended national executive committee (NEC) meeting held at Irene on Friday and Saturday, the ANCWL said that “after careful consideration and opening our eyes as wide as possible”, Dlamini-Zuma “is the only suitable candidate at this point in our history to lead the African National Congress in December 2017”.
“In line with the 50/50 representation in the officials, the ANCWL has resolved to lobby for comrade Baleka Mbete, cde Jessie Duarte, cde Nosiviwe Mapisa – Nqakula, cde Lindiwe Sisuslu, cde Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and cde Nomvula Mokonyane to be considered in the other five of the six official positions of the ANC in December 2017. Of importance is the decision that cde Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is a presidential candidate of the ANCWL and nobody else,” the statement said.
Dlamini-Zuma’s “legacy and influence is known and well documented throughout the history pages of the republic and beyond”. The ANCWL had satisfied itself that Dlamini-Zuma “not only meets, but is an embodiment of leadership as espoused by ‘through the eye of a needle’. She grew organically within the structures of the movement, the ANC”.
“We are also aware that only one individual can carry the magnitude of a task at a time and as the ANCWL we have searched through the structures of the ANC and have found cde Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be ready to lead the collective leadership of both the ANC in 2017, and the republic in 2019 as the president,” the league said.
Last night, the women’s league officially endorsed Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred candidate.
The league says it made the decision with its eyes wide open and after careful consideration.
Dlamini-Zuma is the outgoing chair of the African Union and is seen as a frontrunner in the race as is ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Her endorsement by the women’s league is the first for a specific candidate by an ANC division.
Zuma’s second term at the helm of the ANC comes to an end in December when the governing party will pick a new president.
ANCWL Secretary General Moekgo Matuba says, “We know that she’s capable of leading South Africa to address the challenges that we’ve, of being poverty, unemployment and also issues inequality. And we view her as somebody who has grown within the ranks of the African National Congress.”
The party will hold a policy conference later in December where it’s expected to select a new leader.
The party’s Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has previously reprimanded the league for entering the succession debate prematurely.
Dlamini says they have made up their minds about who must take over from Zuma and says the league will now mobilise other structures to support Dlamini-Zuma.
“The last NEC said we must start negotiating and how do we negotiate without a mandate? What will I say to other structures when we negotiate as the women’s league?”
Dlamini says while she agrees the nomination process is not open yet, the ANCWL was left with no choice but to let its choice be known.
But Mantashe says the ANCWL is breaking with ANC processes to go public in this way.
Mantashe seems slightly frustrated this morning. He says the main point of this entire event is to make the point about unity in action for the anc.
And now he says the women’s league has jumped the gun play sound.
“They’re putting their candidate on their running prematurely. Even if we say it is ill-discipline, that name is out there. But the reality of the matter is undermining the processes of the organisation is not acceptable.”
But Mantashe also says he believes 2017 will be a good year for the ANC.
He says the party is working on its problems and that they will still be able to make their point about unity today.