Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid for the ANC presidency has taken a big knock after her support base in KwaZulu Natal was disbanded this weekend, and a key Zuma ally has indicated that he may not support her.
According to a report by the Sunday Times, ‘premier league’ member, Ace Magashule has refused to commit to backing Dlamini-Zuma in the upcoming ANC elections, saying the president shouldn’t be determined based on gender.
On Friday, the KwaZulu Natal structures that had been backing Dlamini-Zuma so far was also disbanded, leaving a hole in her bid.
It has been speculated among analysts for the past few months that Dlamini-Zuma was largely falling out of favour within the ANC as the lead candidate for the pro-Zuma faction within the party, with murmuring around the party’s policy conference in the middle of the year already saying that she could be replaced.
While the ANC Youth League and the ANC Women’s League have already thrown their support behind her, the leaders in the so-called ‘premier league’ – which includes Free State premier Magashule, as well as Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza and North West premier Supra Mahumapelo – have not made any commitments.
Research analyst at Nomura, Peter Attard Montalto, has said that indications have been that Mabuza, especially, has thrown his lot in with either the Cyril Ramaphosa camp, or even with ‘the third way’ slate, said to be led by treasurer general, Zweli Mkhize.
It has also been speculated that, should Dlamini-Zuma fall away as the lead candidate for this particular faction within the party, the support could fall behind ANC chair, Baleka Mbete, or even one of the premier league members themselves.
Dlamini-Zuma was this week sworn in as an MP for the ANC, ramping up speculation that another reshuffle is imminent, to place her within cabinet.
She has denied harbouring any ambitions for a cabinet position.
You can read the full article in the Sunday Times for 24 September 2017