AU chair, and potential future president of South Africa, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says that weak leadership within the ANC led to its big defeat at the polls in major metros in the 2016 municipal elections.
While the ANC achieved an overall national victory in the latest polls, it was left in a significantly weaker position in major metros across the country, including losing Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay to the DA.
Speaking at a Women’s Day event – ahead of several government officials, including president Jacob Zuma – Dlamini Zuma said that South Africa couldn’t afford weak leaders, who in turn make the country weak.
“As the AU, we look up to South Africa. If South Africa is weak, the leaders are weak, then the continent is weak,” she said.
She said she was speaking as the chairperson of the African Union, who happened to be South African, adding that many AU leaders were surprised at the outcome of the elections.
However, her words could also be seen as posturing, as the ANC looks to the future, and future leaders of the party.
Dlamini-Zuma, along with other politicians such as deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and Baleka Mbete, have been pegged as possible future leaders of the ANC and the country. Zuma has reportedly backed Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife, for the position and has been campaigning for her behind the scenes.
However, the anti-Zuma camp within the ANC have reportedly backed Ramaphosa for the position, said to be eager to rid the party of Zuma’s legacy. Ramaphosa is seen as the most favourable candidate to lead the party, according to polls.
Dlamini-Zuma was supposed to return to South Africa in October, after her tenure as AU chair ended. However, the AU could not select her successor for the position, forcing the group to hold new elections in January 2017, extending Dlamini-Zuma’s tenure by 6 months.
The delay could work against Dlamini-Zuma’s bid for the top job, as president Zuma’s position remains shaky following the ANC’s defeat at the polls. The outcome has resulted in renewed calls for Zuma to step down as president.
The ANC will elect new leadership at its conference in 2017. Zuma’s tenure as head of the ANC is expected to end in 2018, while his role is president will come to a close in 2019.
Source: Business Tech