Uhuru-Spirit News


May 08, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

Former AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Former AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has blasted her detractors over claims that she is being backed by President Jacob Zuma to succeed him, according to the Star Newspaper.

Dlamini-Zuma said "she is her own woman and that when the ANC opens up the succession race, she will be ready to serve and will strive to unify the party, and eradicate factions and the cancer of corruption."

She also made it clear that she was back home to work for the ANC in whatever capacity, but if asked to stand for president, she said she would not decline, because she has spent her entire life serving her party.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is among those that have been mentioned in connection with the unfolding ANC succession race and her detractors are using her failed marriage to Zuma to try and discredit her. Some have suggested that her election would mean that Zuma would continue to pull the strings from behind the scenes.

“I am my own woman and I have worked hard to be here,” she says in an exclusive interview with The Star on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban. “No amount of patriarchy will stop me from serving my people.”

Dlamini-Zuma is particularly incensed by those claiming she has the backing of Zuma to ascend to the top, and that she is doing so to protect Zuma from prosecution when he leaves office. She hit back at those who want to link her political career to her former husband.

“I divorced him in 1998, when I was health minister, and long before he became president. He wasn’t even deputy president. He was an MEC in KwaZulu-Natal. I was already in government and had a career for myself.

“But people are quick to forget. I was never first lady of South Africa. And I have no aspirations to marry a president. I have kids with him, so it is inevitable that I will see him from time to time. When you are divorced, you don’t have to be enemies. But I am not his wife,” says Dlamini-Zuma. “Even when we were in exile I hardly saw him; we lived together only in Lusaka.

“It’s mischievous people who use their patriarchy to smear my name. It’s worse when it comes from women and fellow comrades, who know I have my own track record in the ANC and in government. I am a doctor and one of the longest-serving cabinet ministers under former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Before Zuma became president.

“Why would people now think I can only succeed with him pushing me? Why are they raising this issue only now, if not to discredit me and unfairly judge me? Their agenda is clear: women can’t lead. There has to be a man behind them.

“There will always be sexist people in society. They even go to the extent of printing fake news. They say the ANC will lose the 2019 elections if a woman leads the party at the polls. Only a man can unite the party and help us win, they say.”

“The Sunday Times printed a fake story that I live at Nkandla, that I even have a house there. It’s pure fabrication to push a particular narrative - that I am being propelled to the top by Zuma. I have ordered them to retract the story and apologise,” she added.

The ANC will elect a new leadership at its national conference in December and campaigns for position are expected to open in June. Whoever becomes the new ANC President in December is expected to become the president of South Africa in 2019.

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