Dlamini-Zuma’s off on her presidential crusade

2017-05-28 06:00
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks at a cadre’s forum in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape, on Thursday Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks at a cadre’s forum in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape, on Thursday Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana

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Female empowerment, radical economic transformation and expropriation of land without compensation are at the heart of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign to be the next ANC president.

This was clear during Dlamini-Zuma’s four-day Eastern Cape crusade this week, in which she addressed everyone from students and women to cadre’s forums and funeral directors – arguing that everyone benefited from female leaders.

“Oliver Tambo said no country can boast of being free unless its women are free; and freeing women does not mean oppressing men. No. It doesn’t mean that,” she said.

“Actually, when women are free, men will have a better time than they are having now because women take care of everybody. If women have resources, they spend their resources on all of us: men and women. So, it’s our right. But, it’s also smart to do that,” she said to loud applause at a cadre’s forum in Sterkspruit on Thursday afternoon.

“Even companies have started to put women in leadership positions because there is research that shows that companies that have women in senior positions do better. They bring better profits than those who don’t. So they have also recognised that it’s not only the right of women to assume higher positions, but it’s a smart thing to do.”

Flanked by ANC Women’s League provincial secretary Nolitha Ntobongwana throughout her visit this week, Dlamini-Zuma was last in the province in February, when she was rejected by amaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, who said the country was not ready for a female president.

Dlamini-Zuma worked hard in the Eastern Cape this week, addressing the SA Funeral Practitioners Association in East London on Monday, making door-to-door visits in Duncan Village and then addressing the SA Students Congress at the University of Fort Hare in Alice on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she visited Elliotdale for a prayer service for women and children who had been abused and killed.

"So the struggle, comrades, is not over"

Speaking about radical economic transformation, she said it was not normal that the economy of an entire nation was in the hands of a few.

“The ANC is saying now is the time for radical economic transformation. So the struggle, comrades, is not over,” she said, adding that an economic struggle was far more difficult “because the enemy is not as well defined as it was during apartheid”.

She said that, when it comes to the economy, ANC members should not be apologetic, but must be clear that it needs to be transformed.

“The patterns of ownership must change. The patterns of ownership cannot continue as they are because then the gap between the rich and the poor will always be there, and the poor will always be with us. We must expand the economy,” she said.

About land, Dlamini-Zuma said South Africans’ land had been taken by force when the country was colonised.

“So it’s something we must really look at and be able to argue properly – why the land has to be redistributed and why it has to be redistributed differently from the way we have been doing until now,” she added.

Dlamini-Zuma received support from two Eastern Cape regions: Joe Gqabi and Amathole, the second largest in the province after OR Tambo. Supporters of Premier Phumulo Masualle have indicated they will use their support for him to retain his chairmanship of the ANC in the province in July’s provincial elective conference as a springboard for Dlamini-Zuma’s presidential campaign.

Although not outright saying that they support Dlamini-Zuma, because the ANC succession debate has not officially begun, two regional leaders openly declared their support for Masualle, who is up against current secretary Oscar Mabuyane.

Addressing Dlamini-Zuma in Fort Hare, Amathole regional chairperson KC Maneli said: “Five regions out of eight in the province are behind comrade Phumulo Masualle and are going to deliver him ... We know that it is a stepping stone to launch our conference battle nationally in December.

“As you know, Comrade Nkosazana, you are part of us. You are us. You are our own. And therefore we cannot betray our own.”

Joe Gqabi regional secretary Mfundo Bongela added: “The issues that come when a woman is being nominated; that she is the ex-wife as if mamaNkosazana has never been a leader of the ANC, is mischievous. She must not be attacked by virtue of association that she was married to Jacob Zuma. It must be a question of principle.”

Read more on:    anc  |  nko­sazana dlamini-zuma

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