ANCWL rejects claims that Didiza slept her way to nomination

2016-06-22 14:25
Thoko Didiza. (File, News24)

Thoko Didiza. (File, News24)

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We are going to give Tshwane to the DA - Atteridgeville resident

2016-06-21 12:01

News24 speaks to Atteridgeville residents in Tshwane on Tuesday about this week's unrest in the metropole's townships, following the ANC's decision to name Thoko Didiza as the party's mayoral candidate for the upcoming municipal elections. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - It was wrong and unfair to say Thoko Didiza slept her way to a nomination for mayoral candidate for the Tshwane Metro, ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini said on Wednesday.

"The issues of patriarchy and power relations are at play right now," she told journalists at a women's league press conference at Luthuli House, where the league threw its weight behind Didiza.

Didiza herself, however, was not seated amongst the group of about ten women's league leaders who were nominated to mayoral or other prominent positions in councils.

"Some of the placards that we have read, they are about comrade Thoko going to bed… which means that women get into positions through sleeping [their way up].

"Therefore we want to condemn that with the contempt it deserves, because we know women work very hard, and we do have women in South Africa that have shown commitment to the people of South Africa."

She said people should not "use these tricks" when women are placed in decision-making positions.

'Give women opportunity'

She asked why the ANC would elect Didiza to its national executive committee if she wasn't good enough to lead.

Didiza was elected to the committee in 2012 after resigning from Cabinet in 2008, following former president Thabo Mbeki's resignation.

"So the issue of power relations is very important, which means the country at large still has a big task of dealing with the issues of the demon of patriarchy that always changes itself.

"Today it's tribalism, it's bed and everything, and no-one has ever questioned a man about being put into a position through sleeping with someone, or through tribalism.

"And all sorts of issues have come up here just because there are those that think we are not capable. And we are saying: give these women an opportunity; you will see change in our communities."

Dlamini denied that Didiza was set up to fail in a metro which polls have shown could fall out of ANC hands, saying the job of winning the metro was a collective ANC effort.

50/50 representation

Some of the criticism from those opposing Didiza's appointment was that she wasn't born in Tshwane, but in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Although Didiza has carried women's issues before, such as serving as national general secretary of the Women's National Coalition from 1992 to 1994, she has never served in the women’s league.

Dlamini also said the women's league would support a woman for president at the ANC's elective conference next year, but that the structures have not discussed names yet.

She also said the league would push for 50/50 representation for women for "all decision-making bodies", which included the ANC's top six as well as the presidency.

This issue was mooted at the party's 2007 conference when the 50/50 gender representation principle was adopted, but it was decided that this should not apply to the upper structures. At the time the names on the slates for leadership did not allow for this.

Read more on:    anc  |  pretoria  |  politics

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