MK vets back Dlamini-Zuma in succession race

Former chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) has for the first time called on the ANC to use African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma “effectively”.

This could be seen as a clear indication the MKMVA supports Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her former husband, President Jacob Zuma, as ANC president. A former Home Affairs minister, Dlamini-Zuma, is presently the AU Commission chairperson. Her term ends next year.

In an interview with The Citizen at Luthuli House, Johannesburg, yesterday, MKMVA chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said Dlamini-Zuma can be used effectively in the ANC and the country.

“The ANC deployed Dlamini-Zuma to lead the AU and to learn,” said Maphatsoe. “Now that she is coming back next year, the ANC must use her effectively. She has been leading a very important institution in Africa.”

The ANC Women’s League has made similar calls. ANC members are lobbying quietly ahead of the ANC’s national conference in 2017. Approached for comment, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said Maphatsoe had denied what he told The Citizen.

The ANC Youth League is in favour of Zuma serving a third term as ANC president. But Maphatsoe said it would be “contradictory” for Zuma to stand for a third term. “Zuma has been vocal about African leaders staying in power for more than two terms,” he said.

Although ANC tradition favours Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma, Maphatsoe said that was not a forgone conclusion. “It is the branches that elect a person,” he said.

Commenting about the use of money to fight for positions in the ANC, Maphatsoe, who is also the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, warned that the ANC would end up being controlled by businesspeople. “The use of money to buy delegates and membership must come to an end in the ANC,” he said.

The ANC’s national general council, which will take place in Midrand, Gauteng, from Thursday until Sunday, is set to discuss the matter.

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