Ekurhuleni – Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her backers believe they have done all they could to ensure she becomes the next ANC president as well as the 105-year-old movement’s first female leader.
The former African Union Commission chairperson spoke at an ANC Women’s League fundraising gala dinner held in her honour.
It was her final speaking engagement before the ANC’s much-anticipated national elective conference that gets under way on Saturday.
"Now we leave it in the hands of the delegates and the Almighty. We have done what we could as we close this campaign," said Dlamini-Zuma as she thanked the members of her campaign team for the work they had done throughout the year to try and secure her a win.
Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are the frontrunners in what was initially a seven-horse race for ANC leadership.
The party's branches have put Ramaphosa in the lead with 1 859 nominations, while Dlamini-Zuma received 1 330 nods - margins which several pundits have said are too close to call.
Lobbying has intensified over the past few days with supporters on both sides accusing each other of buying delegates.
"People are talking of buying delegates. We don’t need to buy delegates. We have worked, been to every corner of this country attending cadres’ forums, making people understand so that, when they elect us, they elect us out of conviction," said Dlamini-Zuma.
She added that she thought no leader could be proud of being elected because of money.
Dlamini-Zuma, who was previously married to President Jacob Zuma, who steps down as ANC president at the weekend, told guests at her fundraising gala that she trusted that branches of the political party had, despite the ANC’s current problems, elected delegates who would be disciplined at the conference and put the best interests of both the liberation movement and the country at heart.
You are a part of history
Dlamini-Zuma, who was glowing in a white dress, told guests and those who had supported her bid for ANC presidency that it was the first time in the nearly 106-year-old liberation movement that a female could become president.
"Whatever happens at the conference, I want to thank you. You have started making history," she said.
"We are going to have a ballot paper at the ANC conference after 105 years for [a] president that is a female," continued Dlamini-Zuma, who said she would leave the decision in the hands of the delegates who loved the ANC and would not sell out the party for money.
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