Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is a long-standing heavyweight in the ANC, holding several ministerial positions since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.
SASOLBURG - NEC member and presidential hopeful, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was the keynote speaker at an ANC Cadre's Assembly in Sasolburg on Thursday.
It quickly became clear, as speakers sung her praises, that Dlamini-Zuma is no ordinary NEC member and grander plans are afoot for her.
ANCWL President Bathabile Dlamini said of Dlamini-Zuma, “She will always be a member of the Women’s League. And if we talk about her as a woman it doesn’t mean she cannot lead the ANC.”
A midnight Cabinet reshuffle, two ratings downgrades, resigning MPs, dissent in the ANC’s top leadership and rolling mass action calling for President Jacob Zuma’s head were some of the problems the ANC leadership had to grapple with explaining to branch structures in the Free State.
Radical economic transformation rhetoric was the order of the day as it became clear that the party's leadership had been rallied to the cause.
Dlamini-Zuma, who was ushered in by several Presidential Protection Unit members, continues to be guarded by the very best the taxpayer has to offer despite not being a Member of Parliament or a Cabinet Minister.
The recently retired chair of the African Union Commission, who is said to be a front-runner to claim the ANC presidency in December, bemoaned the public’s image of the party as a corrupt one.
She took a veiled swipe at ANC members who've spoken out against the president, saying it was "not ANC culture."
She made an impassioned plea for the ANC to control of its own narrative, even claiming that certain model C schools were conspiring against the governing party.
“Can we go back and just see what our kids are being taught in the model C schools. They are actually taught against the ANC. It is not surprising that the kids will think the ANC is corrupt, the ANC is useless, because that is what they’re fed. And that must also be transformed,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
But the leadership was guarded on events of the past week.
Free State ANC Chairperson Ace Magashula refused to answer questions related to issues pertaining to the President.
Similarly, Dlamini-Zuma, when asked why the South African taxpayer was footing the bill to protect a governing-party member, left without saying a word.