African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has given the strongest indication yet that she is in the running for ANC president come 2017.
News24 asked her after the closing of the AU heads of state summit whether her staying for another nine months at the helm of the continental body would affect her campaign in the ANC, she indicated that she would be free to take up the position if required.
“The [ANC] conference is 2017 December,” she said.
She said, laughing, that her current position “has got nothing to do with the ANC. The ANC has its own processes”.
Her term would have ended in October had a suitable successor been elected at the recent summit, but none of the three candidates got the required two-thirds majority.
“Of course my term should have ended in October but the way I look at it is that I’d come to serve the continent and if the continent has challenges, and they want me to stay an additional six months, I should do it, and do it with pleasure.”
A man’s world
A fresh round of elections is set to take place in January, followed by a three-month handover, after which Dlamini-Zuma would return home.
In an interview with Rwanda TV shortly after, she said was still a man’s world, but women should occupy equal space in it.
“Societies everywhere have developed to the advantage of men,” she said. “Men have occupied all positions of decision-making in every sphere and they have left the women in the kitchen to cook on their own and to clean for them, to be a chef, a laundry, everything but at decision-making,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma said the media wasn’t always helpful, because it tended to criticise women based on their clothes and not on what they do.
“So these patriarchal societies are very entrenched,” she said.
“It is not only men who entrench this, even us [women], we have come to collude in our own oppression. So we need a change of mindset both from the men and the women and we have to work together.
Focus on women’s rights
“Women have to organise themselves. We should not think someone should come and deliver these rights for us, we have to struggle for them.
“We should build alliances with progressive men, because there are progressive men that realise women’s emancipation isn’t an act of charity but a moral obligation,” she said.
“We have to work with men. We have to work with women themselves to show where we are colluding [with men to oppress women], to stop colluding.”
This year’s theme at the AU is human rights, with a specific focus on women’s rights, and three countries, including South Africa, have received prizes for advancing women in government.
Dlamini-Zuma is the first female AU chairperson, and some in the ANC, including the ANC Women’s League and the Youth League, are campaigning for her to become the party and the country’s first female president.
‘Vote of no confidence’
Sources close to her said she is keen to return home.
It is believed that up to 28 of the 54 heads of state abstained from voting during the four rounds of voting at the AU summit on Monday, which an insider said was a “vote of no confidence” in all the candidates.
Uganda’s former vice-president, Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, was the first to be eliminated, meaning she got the least amount of votes. Botswana foreign minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi – officially supported by South Africa – could at most muster 23 votes, still not defeating the number of abstentions.
The foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea, Agapito Mba Mokuy, who was considered to have the strongest campaign behind him with the most money, got 12 votes in the first round, and Kazibwe 11.[Source: News24]