Despite door-to-door visits to Hammanskraal residents yesterday, ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma refuted claims that she was campaigning and electioneering.
Dlamini-Zuma and the ANC Women’s League handed over a new home to 134-year-old Johanna Ramatse, alongside the controversial pastor Paseka Mboro in Stinkwater.
The former African Union chairperson also launched the “Molo Makhelwane” campaign, a programme to promote neighbourhood friendship and cohesion among the community.
But she quickly dismissed questions by the media, who asked whether her visit was part of campaigning ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in December.
“Who are the people saying this is campaigning? The people here are not saying that. We can’t stop assisting people because there are elections coming up. If a grandmother is not getting a grant, we must help. Whether elections or not, we are going to continue creating a better life for our people.”
Dlamini-Zuma also visited a local primary school where she encouraged the Grade 7 pupils to focus on their studies, as they were the country’s future.
A cheerful crowd of women geared in ANCWL T-shirts sang in excitement for Dlamini-Zuma when she entered Ramatse’s new home with Mboro, who followed behind in his R1.7 million BMW i8. Ramatse’s dilapidated home was refurbished by the pastor who repaired a leaking roof and collapsing walls.
Mboro, who recently stirred controversy for praying for fired Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza, echoed Dlamini-Zuma’s sentiments when he too dismissed ideas that he was supporting her as presidential candidate.
“When I came here for the first time, it was not to campaign but to help an old lady going through a crisis. When I was called in, the house was bad. There was no bed and everything fell apart. The ANC Women’s League invited me and I came to thank God and to open the house.”
A confused and joyful Ramatse was elated to have Dlamini-Zuma in her home, asking her: “But how did you know I was still alive?”
According to her identity book, she was born on January 1, 1883.