Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma singing with Premier Willies Mchunu at the closing of the ANC PGC in Durban, December 5 2017. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma singing with Premier Willies Mchunu at the closing of the ANC PGC in Durban, December 5 2017. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made an appearance at the party’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial general council, which nominated her, and then went on to address it, leaving the supporters of her main rival baffled.

Spokesman for party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s supporters, Sithembiso Mshengu, expressed concern, saying “it’s a bit unprecedented”. Some of Ramaphosa’s supporters did not return for the second day of the provincial conference following the announcement of the nominations on Monday night.

“We all know why we came here; we came to be witnesses of the nomination processes and everything else is just a sideshow. That’s the reality of such provincial general councils‚” Mshengu said.

While President Jacob Zuma was widely expected to deliver a closing message to the provincial general council‚ it was instead Dlamini-Zuma who made a surprise appearance to address the gathering.

Despite another tally of the votes at the KwaZulu-Natal provincial general council on Tuesday, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma still came out ahead as the preferred candidate for the ANC presidency. This ...

Zuma‚ who was in Durban for a provincial government programme, flew to Johannesburg where he was to address a South African Students Congress conference. He was also a no-show at that conference. Organisers said he would now address it on Thursday.

Dlamini-Zuma was asked to speak by provincial chairman Sihle Zikalala‚ who said he was doing so because she was the only senior cadre and elder who was present. This was after ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize had also left the venue.

Dlamini-Zuma congratulated ANC KwaZulu-Natal members for a successful provincial conference, saying she was proud of their discipline.

“Also congratulations on the nominations‚” she said to rapturous applause.

“The ANC must win at the conference. It doesn’t matter who nominated and who was nominated, but what matters is that you exercised your right.

“We want a peaceful [national] conference and the conference of the ANC must be the safest. The atmosphere must be conducive and show us we are comrades. Of course we will express our preference at the ballot box. Let’s commit ourselves to accepting the results of the conference‚” she said.

Closing the provincial conference, Zikalala said whoever emerged victorious at the December 20 national conference the ANC wanted a united leadership. “We expect the leadership to embrace all of us. That is the character of the ANC.” 

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