Zuma, Dlamini-Zuma are not SA's Bill and Hillary - Ntshalintshali

2017-04-20 20:29
Pres. Jacob Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Michael Hammond)

Pres. Jacob Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Michael Hammond)

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Johannesburg - Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali has dismissed President Jacob Zuma's apparent endorsement of his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as his preferred successor, saying South Africa was not the United States in reference to husband and wife duo Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Taking a swipe at the President, he questioned the timing of Zuma's call for a woman president to lead the ANC. He was addressing the Cosatu Gauteng council for shop stewards at the Johannesburg City Hall.

“When he [Zuma] steps down now and has no opportunity to lead, he remembers that women can lead, but not all women. We are not in the United States. There will be no Bill Clinton (presidency) then have Hillary Clinton,” Ntshalintshali said to thunderous applause.

“The president himself, when he wanted to be president, he did not remember that women are capable [of leading],“ he said.

Cosatu, which had led the campaign for Zuma to become president, has now called for him to step down after he failed to consult them on his recent cabinet reshuffle.

The trade federation has endorsed deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma, pitting him against ANC NEC member Dlamini-Zuma who has the support of the ANC Women’s League.

He said they must now explain to the public why they think Ramaphosa has the character to be the next president.

He said Ramaphosa was the candidate who would unite the alliance and the ANC and would be firm on corruption.

Veiled attack

He also criticised the police’s decision to extend VIP protection to Dlamini-Zuma.  

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that she was still receiving high-level protection following an apparent threat.

“In the planning [for a] new president, an ordinary citizen is given VIP protection cars. We can’t keep quiet,” Ntshalintshali said.

In what also appeared to be a veiled attack on Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, he called on leaders to step down if they did not agree with a decision of the majority.

Dlamini was criticised for attending Zuma’s 75th birthday celebrations in Soweto, just weeks after Cosatu called for him to step down.

“Whether you like it or not comrade, if you can’t accept a decision taken by the majority and you are not in a position to defend it, you must step down and say I cannot defend that decision,“ Ntshalintshali said.

Ntshalintshali used Ramaphosa, Gwede Mantashe and Zweli Mkhize as examples of public figures who were forced to backtrack on their public criticism of Zuma's cabinet reshuffle following an extended ANC National Working Committee.  

The NWC decided it was a "mistake" for the trio to disagree with Zuma publicly.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  nkosazana ­dlamini zuma  |  sdumo dlamini  |  bheki ntshalintshali

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