‘ANC will miss NDZ at Mangaung’

2012-09-15 16:38

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s new job has robbed the ANC of a leader who could have stood for a position at the party’s Manguang conference, says ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete.

Mbete told guests at a farewell dinner for Dlamini-Zuma in Sandton on Friday that the decision to put Dlamini-Zuma up for the position of African Union (AU) Commission chairperson was not an easy one.

“We are not pretending it was easy or that we don’t have mixed feelings,” said Mbete.

“The ANC is going to a national conference where we have to be considering comrades as skilled, as hard working and as disciplined as herself to take leadership.

“So this is one of the things that crossed our minds. But what do you do when you have to identify the best person for a particular role?”

It was the first time an ANC leader had spoken out publicly about Dlamini-Zuma’s possible role at the elective conference in Mangaung.

There has been widespread speculation in the ANC that the decision to put Dlamini-Zuma up for the AU position was a way of keeping her out of the top six at Mangaung.

Dlamini-Zuma was listed as a candidate for deputy president for the pro-change lobby in the ANC. This group wants to replace President Jacob Zuma in December.

Many of the ANC’s national executive committee members are not based in South Africa because they are ambassadors.

But ANC members based outside the country do not take up positions in the top-six leadership structure of the party.

Dlamini-Zuma will start her new job in Ethiopia on October 15. She will be in Addis Ababa for the next four years.

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