The noise around Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her ex-husband as president of the Republic of South Africa is getting louder.
Amid the criticism and calls for current president Jacob Zuma to step down, Dlamini-Zuma is seen as a likely candidate to take over from him, according to many sources.
“There is no doubt that some behind-doors lobbying on her behalf is already underway,” Mcebisi Ndletyana, associate professor of political science at the University of Johannesburg, told AFP.
Dlamini-Zuma, who is currently completing her term as African Union chairperson, would need to rejoin the ANC political fray in order to be appointed the party’s president when it holds its leadership elections in 2017.
This means she could become South Africa’s first female president when general elections are held in 2019.
However, AFP reported that Dlamini-Zuma’s name recognition also presents a dilemma to the ANC, where some factions want a clean break from the Zuma name.
“Although she is an accomplished politician, those who are opposed to Zuma may not be too happy with another Zuma taking over,” Ndletyana said.
There is also a push from supporters of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to have him step up to the position, as has been tradition in the ANC, News24 reported.
National Assembly speaker and ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete also has ambitions to win the race in 2017, to become party president.
Rand Daily Mail reported that Mbete has been approached to lead the ruling party in 2017.
Mbete served as deputy president, serving under Kgalema Motlanthe who was made president following the recall of former president Thabo Mbeki.