The succession battle to be the next president of the ANC is on, with both deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and AU chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma receiving official public endorsements.
According to a report from the Sunday Times, the ANC Women’s League announced its official support for Dlamini-Zuma this weekend ahead of the party’s 105th birthday celebrations to be held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
This makes Dlamini-Zuma – currently AU chair, but also notably president Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife – the first candidate to receive official backing from within party structures.
Ramaphosa himself has previously expressed his intent to chase the presidency but he is yet to be publicly endorsed from within the party, with only worker union Cosatu naming him as its preferred candidate.
However, according to the Sunday Times report, Ramaphosa has spent much of this week on the campaign trail, using his public appearances to set himself apart from Zuma, focusing on topics such as corruption and self-enrichment. Standing in opposition of things the Zuma presidency is widely known for, it is seen as subtle sniping at Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma on the other hand is seen as Zuma’s preferred candidate, and will likely get further support from other ANC branches that are claimed to be ‘captured’ by Zuma. This includes the youth league and the so-called ‘premier league’.
The women’s league has denied that its endorsement was ‘sponsored’ by any of the branches linked to Zuma, saying that it is an insult to say its decision was governed and dictated by men.
Ramaphosa is said to enjoy support from senior officials in the ANC, as well as provinces like Gauteng, Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and “at least half of KwaZulu Natal”, the Sunday Times reported.
The full story can be read in the Sunday Times for 8 January 2016.