Dlamini-Zuma campaigns in Kimberley

2017-07-15 21:34
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Simon Maina, AFP)

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Simon Maina, AFP)

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Kimberley - This Northern Cape town was awash in black, green and gold on Saturday as two of the province's ANC factions held two separate rallies, dubbed "lectures", each to display their strength and legitimacy.

Ordinary members were left with a difficult choice of deciding which ANC event to support, reopening the scars of the fractured political environment leading to the recent 7th provincial conference.

Presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma apparently snubbed an "Oliver Tambo lecture", organised by the Northern Cape provincial executive committee. 

She opted instead to deliver a "Freedom Charter lecture", organised by the Francis Baard Region. 

Regional chairperson Dr Thapelo Dithebe - a dentist by profession - was among the paramilitary, uniform-clad, pro-Zuma-singing supporters who attended the event, along with other ANC Women's League top brass.

Dithebe, occasionally fixing his new MKMVA camouflage outfit, did not mince his words.

"Mama Dlamini-Zuma, we are here to tell you that, as the biggest region in this province, we endorse your candidature as ANC president in December," he said.

"The ANC has waited 105 years for a woman president. Do not worry about the others in this province (referring to the PEC led by Zamani Saul, a supporter of other presidential hopeful, Cyril Ramaphosa).

"This decision was made without consultation. As this region, we have most of the provincial branches and we are clear that we are NDZ," he shouted.

He was echoed by ANCWL president, and Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, who was flanked by other Women's League leaders.

"We are aware that others are planning to form a new party if they lose the December national conference," Dlamini said.

'She belongs to the generation of Steve Biko'

Without mentioning names, Dlamini said "these people" should be best placed to understand the class, race and gender disparities in South African society.

She said they made a mockery of the sacrifices that Dlamini-Zuma had made.

"She sacrificed her profession as a medical doctor to join the struggle, she belongs to the generation of Steve Biko."

Dlamini said it was mischievous to suggest that, by endorsing Dlamini-Zuma, one was "voting for President Jacob Zuma".

"The Sarafina 2-Mbongeni Mgema issue happened while she was in her learning phase in government. She was trusted by Madiba and she is an ANCWL leader in her own right. As women, we comprise over 60% of the ANC total membership. We refuse to be used as voting cows. If women can be managers in our homes, why not in government," she concluded.

Dlamini-Zuma acknowledged the support of former Northern Cape premier Hazel Jenkins, who made a rare public appearance since leaving public life due to incapacity. Also on stage were recently sacked Cabinet ministers Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Dipuo Peters.

The former African Union commission chairperson invoked the Freedom Charter in legitimising her campaign bid.

"It is not us, but the Freedom Charter, that declares that all men and women are equal."

"Even here in Kimberley, if a mall is built, I bet that you can tell which retail stores and financial institutions, like exploitative banks, will be there. This must change.   

"The ANC policy conference noted that, in South Africa, a tiny minority of white males continue to have a monopoly over our economy. Less than 20% of the companies on the JSE are black-owned, So our enemy is white monopoly capital," Dlamini-Zuma said.

'She'll make a good president, just like her husband'

She also called for a skills revolution that would see local goods sold on the international market.

She called for a strong "cultural creative industry" that would instil patriotism among the youth.

"I know of some African countries who do this successfully. We can also do it by pushing for radical economic transformation," she added.

Throughout her lecture, Dlamini-Zuma was referred to as "Madam president" and "incoming president".

Dlamini said this was because she had a "golden hand" and that everything she touched was successful.

Thabo Moloi, 34, travelled 100km to listen to "the wife of President Zuma share her vast credentials and experience with the youth".

"She will make a good president, just like her husband," he said.

Kimberley resident and ANC die-hard Thabang Seekoei, 40, said he didn't attend the rival Oliver Tambo lecture - barely 10km away - as a "matter of principle".

"We support Jacob Zuma and want to have nothing to do with Cyril Ramaphosa. We will prove our strength at the December national congress."

Read more on:    anc  |  bathabile dlamini  |  nkosazana ­dlamini zuma  |  politics

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