The ANC presidential crown in 2017 was Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s to lose, and she contrived to be narrowly defeated by President Cyril Ramaphosa. She misread the dramatic changes that had taken place in SA’s political landscape after she left for Addis Ababa to chair the AU Commission in 2012. Though it was a political misjudgment to have been too close to her former husband, Jacob Zuma, Dlamini-Zuma did have a track record in her own right at home and abroad. Justice Malala’s comment that she was "no different from Jacob Zuma, she is Jacob Zuma in a doek" is thus clearly sexist. The recent biography of Dlamini-Zuma, Woman in the Wings by Carien du Plessis, is a journalist’s book rather than an academic biography. It is succinct and readable. It provides interesting insights into the life of the 69-year-old Dlamini-Zuma, who held three high-profile ministerial appointments from 1994 to 2012 and has now returned as a minister in the Presidency.Dlamini-Zuma was sometimes her own worst ...

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