Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s faction are discussing the early removal of president Jacob Zuma should she be elected ANC president, to improve the party’s chances in the 2019 election.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, insiders said informal discussions about Zuma’s early exit had been held within Dlamini-Zuma’s camp as there was a realisation that it would be difficult for the party to win a general election with Zuma as head of state.
The removal would be in line with Dlamini-Zuma’s strategy to disassociate herself from her former husband and would also undercut election opponent, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, whose backers have made it clear that Zuma would be recalled soon after this December’s party elections, should he win.
“There is that talk but we have to be careful. We have to manage this carefully. Look, we can’t lose the election. We will do everything to win elections but that man still has a lot of power . . . so we have to be cautious,” said a Dlamini-Zuma lobbyist.
Speaking on the campaign trail in North West and KwaZulu-Natal this week, Dlamini-Zuma also seemed to rule out the possibility of an agreed leadership between herself and Ramaphosa.
“The ANC has to win the elections in 2019 regardless of whoever wins [in December]. All I say is that the winner will be ANC. We cannot make the ANC fail, if the ANC fails it will be us,” she said.
She said the losing candidate should not consider leaving the party: “If you want to lead, be prepared to be led also.”
You can read the full story in today’s Sunday Times.