ROAD TO ANC's DECEMBER CONFERENCE
Daughter signalled Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s presidential campaign launch on WhatsApp groups
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will run against her boss, President Cyril Ramaphosa, as Phala Phala weakens his hand.
A few weeks ago, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s youngest daughter, Thuthukile Zuma, started posting social media posters of her mother’s bid for the ANC’s top job.
The well-designed posters announced Dlamini Zuma’s campaign ahead of its confirmation in the Sunday Times on 11 September. In 2017, Dlamini Zuma was narrowly beaten to the position of ANC president by just 179 votes — by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Thuthukile Zuma is an influential youth activist on the ANC Youth League Task Team. The daughter of former President Jacob Zuma and Dlamini Zuma, she is a feminist who spoke out last month against Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana after he was alleged to have sexually assaulted a masseuse.
Dlamini Zuma confirmed to the Sunday Times, via her spokesperson Lungi Mtshali, that she has been nominated for the position by ANC branches and is available to accept. That means it is game on in the ANC race for the presidency in December as the nomination window opened this week.
Her daughter first signalled Dlamini Zuma’s entry into the race when she posted campaign flyers on WhatsApp groups early in September.
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The ANC race is happening in WhatsApp groups, with some action on Twitter and Facebook. Social media is now the principal place where the contestation will happen, signalling the end of rallies and meetings as the leading indicators of how campaigns are progressing.
Thuthukile Zuma referred Daily Maverick to Mtshali, who did not respond to Daily Maverick’s call for comment. She denied “announcing” her mom’s candidature.
It is unknown whether Dlamini Zuma will run as the RET-faction candidate or whether she will put distance between it and her agenda, which is to fight on a “Womandla” or woman’s ticket.
For more than 100 years, the ANC has never had a female leader, and the lobby to accelerate women’s leadership is growing. But the RET faction does not have a credible leader to run against Ramaphosa in December and may put its weight behind her. The ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial spokesperson did not respond to a Daily Maverick call for comment.
Ramaphosa has been weakened by the 2020 Phala Phala theft of game sale funds from a sofa they had been sewn into at his farm. It now turns out that the cash was hidden at the farm for much longer than the single weekend Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya first claimed in June.
Former spy boss Arthur Fraser set the cat among Ramaphosa’s pigeons in June when he laid a criminal complaint against the President for not disclosing the theft. The case has raised red flags for money laundering, foreign exchange regulation violations and tax evasion.
The issue has grown into a scandal, especially after a successful judgment for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane against Ramaphosa on Friday, 9 September. He had suspended Mkhwebane after she sent him questions about Phala Phala.
The State Capture Commission confirmed that State Security Agency funds and police spending were misused in the ANC presidential race in 2017.
Dlamini Zuma is popular in the ANC but not outside it, where her disciplinarian style during Covid-19 was repeatedly turned into memes. As minister of cooperative governance, she was responsible for regulating the state of disaster during the pandemic. DM