South Africa 12.1.2017 12:18 pm

Zuma indirectly endorses Dlamini-Zuma for ANC president

President Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during the national Women's Day celebrations at the Union Buildings on August 09, 2016 in Pretoria. Picture: Gallo Images

President Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during the national Women's Day celebrations at the Union Buildings on August 09, 2016 in Pretoria. Picture: Gallo Images

As the battle for the ANC presidency heats up, the president has revealed his thoughts on the party possibly welcoming a woman to lead.

While Zuma has previously declined to publicly endorse Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa despite ANC structures throwing their weight behind their preferred candidates, it appears he has finally spoken out about who he supports.

According to TimesLive, Zuma said in an interview with a radio station that the ANC was ready for a woman to take over the leadership of the party and, ultimately, the country.

Dlamini-Zuma has the support of the ANC Women’s League, while Ramaphosa has been backed by Cosatu. The ANCYL has yet to reveal who their candidate for the top post is.

It will depend on the integrity that she possesses and if members see her fit for the position, he said.

It is understood that Dlamini-Zuma also has the powerful backing of the ‘Premier League’, which consists of the North West, Free State and Mpumalanga premiers. The league is also believed to be under Zuma’s command.

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“It is no longer a discussion in the ANC whether a woman can take a high leadership position or not. This discussion has been had before, and the party agreed that anyone who is seen to have the qualities to lead the movement‚ there won’t be any problem for that person to do so‚” Zuma said.

“The ANC is ready for that‚ in fact the party has been ready for some time.

“It will depend on the integrity that she possesses and whether members see her fit for the position. We no longer look at whether the person is a woman or man. This is our belief in the ANC.”

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