- Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma could once again run for the presidency of the ANC.
- ANC members loyal to Jacob Zuma are preparing for his return, two months before the ANC conference in December.
- His ambitions received support from a group of Western Cape religious leaders.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s endorsement for the ANC presidency emerged from an unusual corner: a Cape Town-based council of religious and traditional leaders.
The African Religious and Traditional Leaders Council (ARTLC) gave its nod to Dlamini-Zuma, who recently spoke at a heritage event organized by the council in Cape Town.
Dlamini-Zuma is ready to claim the presidency of the ANC – if nominated by the branches.
A meeting of Jacob Zuma loyalists was due to take place at the former president’s home in Nkandla on Thursday, but was cancelled.
READ | The political return of Jacob Zuma? Party leaders had to dissuade ‘uBaba’ at Nkandla meeting
The derailed meeting was intended to map out a way forward for Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign – and possibly convince former minister Zweli Mkhize to run alongside him as president, not for the presidency as he intends to do so.
It would be Dlamini-Zuma’s second stint to achieve the political position she narrowly lost at the ANC’s elective conference in 2017.
If nominated, Dlamini-Zuma will likely face her former rival, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Other ANC presidential candidates have also been touted, including Mkhize.
READ | ANC presidential race: Mkhize and Sisulu remain resolute in the face of Zuma’s call to endorse Dlamini-Zuma
The council of traditional leaders said in a statement on Thursday that ANC branches should choose wisely when they meet at the conference in December.
These warning remarks were however nuanced by the organization calling itself “apolitical”.
Bishop Templeton Mbekwa said, “With our own African National Congress established in a church in 1912, we believe ARTLC and others can help make a difference in the country. We also encourage the various branches of the ANC across South Africa to decide very wisely. on its new leaders who we sincerely hope will lead our country in the right direction.
“Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has a proud history in the struggle against apartheid and has a distinguished career in our post-1994 democratic government and the African Union. We believe she can bring valuable experience and dynamic leadership to the country.
“Our communities that our many members represent in churches, mosques, synagogues and shrines, and other places of religion, are overwhelmingly demanding change, and we support them. Until change comes, we will continue to pray for our people and our beautiful country.”