Sisulu visits Shembe church in KZN

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Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Speculation that Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is intending to enter the ANC presidential race, grew following her visit to the Shembe Church in KZN on Saturday.

Sisulu came under attack for her criticism of the judiciary and the Constitution in an opinion piece published last week. Sisulu’s supporters maintain that her criticism of the judiciary and the Constitution was informed by her concern that both the judiciary and the Constitution have done little to advance the interests of the poor.

Her critics have slammed her piece as an attempt to position herself as a presidential candidate at the ANC national elective conference scheduled to take place before the end of the year.

In 2017, Sisulu attempted to get elected as ANC president but shelved her campaign in the eleventh hour to join President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election campaign.

With over a million members, the Shembe Church has become an important launch pad for ANC leaders seeking election to a higher office.

During the build-up to the ANC 2017 elective conference, Ramaphosa, who beat his rival, former African Union (AU) chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the ruling party’s presidential race, also visited the church as part of his ANC internal elections campaign.

ALSO READ | ANC faction in KwaZulu-Natal wants three influential leaders out

Sisulu’s visit to the Shembe Church in Ozwathini near Ndwedwe on Saturday raised speculations that she wants to contest Ramaphosa in the upcoming ANC elective conference.

She has impeccable struggle credentials, starting with her detention for 11 months in various prisons from 1975 on a charge that she held funds of the banned ANC. Police routinely used torture during interrogation. She went into exile in 1977 and joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, specialising in Intelligence.

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