If Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is elected ANC president it will be an “historic moment”, said national executive committee member Lindiwe Zulu.
Zulu was speaking at the Nasrec centre on Sunday, where the 54th ANC elective conference is currently taking place. She said that she endorsed Dlamini-Zuma because her election would ensure that there is gender parity in the top and bottom structures of the ANC.
Zulu has been counted as among President Jacob Zuma’s fiercest defenders as the party’s factional battles have intensified throughout this year in the run-up to the elective conference.
Earlier this year when South Africans protested for Zuma to step down following allegations of corruption and state capture, Zulu said: “We will continue to defend the president as members of the ANC, as long as he is a member of the ANC and as long as he remains the president of the country.”
Her endorsement of Dlamini-Zuma comes after ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete and long-time Zuma supporter endorsed Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday night, saying he would be the better candidate to help unify the party.
On Sunday the conference entered its second day after a lengthy delay on Saturday. ANC delegates were meant to vote for the party’s next president on Saturday, but there was a hold up in confirming delegate credentials.
An NEC member told the Mail & Guardian on Saturday night that Cyril Ramaphosa supporters were accusing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal of inflating the number of their delegates.
KwaZulu-Natal is a Zuma stronghold, but already the NDZ campaign has lost 100 delegates from the province after a court judgement nullified their participation in the conference.
Branches from the North West also alleged that “bogus delegates” had been allowed into the conference, despite not receiving a mandate from their branches to do so. Members of at least two wards from the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality in Klerksdorp told the M&G that they were waiting for these disputes to be resolved on Saturday as the conference opened.
Verification of delegate credentials are set to begin on Sunday, followed by the nomination process for officials.
Zulu said that “at the centre of it all” was the ability of South Africans to the “deal with the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment”.