DURBAN, November 2 – The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal announced on Thursday that presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa oin the province in the leadership race for the ruling party.
Speaking at Coastlands Hotel Musgrave, provincial leadership told media that out of the total KZN branches that had convened thus far, 247 had voted for Dlamini-Zuma and 69 for Cyril Ramaphosa.
About 600 branches still needed to convene, according to spokesperson and provincial executive council member, Mdumiseni Ntuli.
Ward 35 in uMhlanga was allegedly the only ward to have lodged a dispute thus far.
Provincial ANC Women’s League deputy chair, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, also used the meeting to hit out at “patriarchal thinking” that was working to “exclude” Dlamini-Zuma from the presidency.
Women were only allowed to join the ANC as members since 1943, she said.
“It has taken the ANC 105-years to realise that we also need to find or have a woman that is going to lead us. These are the processes that informed the thinking of the woman’s league before nominations were even open.”
Dlamini-Zuma had passed all the leadership tests found in the ANC document, The Eye of the Needle, she said.
“At this time, it is clear that we are still living in a very patriarchal society. The moment women decided that they wanted comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be president, all of the patriarchal evils and innuendos came out,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma was “one of the cleanest leaders” in the ANC, she said, and those trying to discredit her were only doing so because she was female.
Dlamini-Zuma has long been touted as the province’s choice for president, but her image is under strain because she was once married to president Jacob Zuma, who has been accused of being involved in fraudulent activity that spans decades.
Simelane-Zulu said that Dlamini-Zuma’s marriage to Zuma “was never an issue” until she was set to “ascend to higher power”, and at that point, she was treated differently to her male colleagues who were seeking the country’s highest post.
The women’s league had a responsibility to fight back against the “evil patriarchy” within society, she said.
“We are taking the bull by the horns, we are saying we are ready to fight. We know for a fact comrade Nkosazana is not going to be a disgrace to this movement because she has lead.”