Though ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has denied any knowledge of a move to Cabinet, it seems one of the main reasons for the reported move is to give her a ‘fair’ chance against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
People who reportedly spoke to The Sowetan said Dlamini-Zuma’s move to parliament would allow her to “engage directly” with the ANC caucus, which was reportedly “hostile” to President Jacob Zuma.
Currently, Ramaphosa is reportedly at an “unfair advantage”, as he is in parliament and has direct access to them.
In an interview with Radio 786 on Monday, the former health, foreign affairs and home affairs minister hinted at the difficulty she was facing in her campaign while outside parliament. She said there was nothing she could do about state capture because she was not in government, while other presidential hopefuls made state capture the focus of their campaigns.
“The issue of state capture, you know I’m not in government, I can’t do much about it myself,” she said.
However, that may soon change as Dlamini-Zuma is set to be sworn in as an MP and later, potentially as a minister.
According to the publication, another reason for Dlamini-Zuma’s deployment is to provide security for her, as she has been unemployed since her return from the African Union. So far she has reportedly been relying on her supporters to fund her campaign.
Dlamini-Zuma’s scant resources were also making it difficult for her to travel around the country.
A Cabinet post would also enable her to “look after” herself and family.
Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe told the publication it would be “vibrant” to see Ramaphosa versus Dlamini-Zuma in parliament.
“She is an experienced minister and parliamentarian, she must be able to engage directly with members of parliament,” he was quoted as saying.
Though there have been speculations Zuma would remove Ramaphosa, sources told the publication it would be a “tactical error” on Zuma’s part. Dlamini-Zuma may fill the trade and industry or public works posts, they claimed.
Meanwhile, Dlamini-Zuma has denied knowing anything about her deployment to cabinet, but said she was ready to serve wherever the ANC saw fit.