NDZ 'not for turning' on radical economic transformation

Cape Town – In an interview with formerly Gupta-owned news channel ANN7, ANC MP and presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma warned that radical economic transformation must be implemented now to avoid a revolt.

Speaking to Sifiso Mahlangu in a segment titled Straight Talk, the somewhat media-shy former head of the African Union Commission broached a range of topics and said it was never her goal to be president of the ANC, but that she has always had the desire to be of service to the country's citizens.

On Friday The New Age, which was also recently sold by the Guptas to businessman Mzwanele Manyi, dedicated its front page to an "exclusive interview" with Dlamini-Zuma under the headline "NDZ cuts loose".

Thatcher's famous quote

The story on the second page was titled "The lady won't change her tune", a likely reference to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's famous quote: "The lady's not for turning," delivered to the Tory's party conference in 1980 in defiance against calls for her to stop her deregulation of the British economy amid rising unemployment.

The newspaper reported that, similarly, Dlamini-Zuma is not for turning away from her economic ideology – though her radical economic transformation is supposedly on the other end of the ideological spectrum compared to Thatcherism. 

In the interview, Dlamini-Zuma took on South African billionaire Johann Rupert, who has previously said that radical economic transformation is a code word for theft.

READ: Johann Rupert: Radical economic transformation just a code word for theft

"I think it should be condemned with the contempt it deserves. Radical economic transformation is about expanding our economy in a way that more people participate in it, but it is also to transform the structure of our economy, the management, the system, the ownership," The New Age quoted Dlamini-Zuma as saying.

"It is not about looting, it is about addressing an injustice that has been there for a very long time," she said to Mahlangu.

Dlamini-Zuma also said she was not surprised that white monopoly capital wasn't backing her. She criticised attempts to discredit her as a woman and called on unity in the ANC and the tripartite alliance.

When asked by Mahlangu if she expected to be elected ANC president in December, Dlamini-Zuma said it was up to the ANC branches. 

Campaign 'looking good'

"From where I sit, it's looking good. The campaign is going well," she said

A topic not broached in the Straight Talk interview and not included in The New Age's reportage is that of allegations that emerged recently that Dlamini-Zuma's campaign is being backed by self-confessed cigarette smuggler Adriano Mazzotti. 

READ: Dlamini-Zuma denies links to Gupta businesses

On Thursday evening, taking a leaf from the playbook of Twitter-happy US President Donald Trump, Dlamini-Zuma tweeted: "People can accuse me of many things but not corruption. I'm not corrupt and I don't loot. Never have, never will be."

For most of Friday ANN7's news coverage was dominated by reports on their interview with Dlamini-Zuma, with analysts fawning over her statements.

While interviews with Dlamini-Zuma have been rare, she has however penned op-ed pieces on radical economic transformation, one of which appeared on News24 on October 29.

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