The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has praised President Jacob Zuma for hosting a dinner meeting with the governing party’s presidential hopefuls.
Zuma met with ANC candidates – Cyril Ramaphosa, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Zweli Mkhize, Baleka Mbete, Jeff Radebe, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Mathews Phosa – for a dinner in Pretoria on Thursday night.
It’s understood that he prevailed on them to show a united front and not to attack each other ahead of the party’s crucial national conference next month at Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.
ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said Zuma’s gesture to host all the candidates for dinner and discuss the importance of promoting unity, demonstrated “his love, dedication and commitment to the ANC.”
Matuba said the ANC remained the only hope to eradicate inequality, unemployment and poverty for the majority of South Africans.
“[The] ANC must remain united beyond the 54th National Conference and it is the responsibility of its supporters and members to defend the unity and integrity of the organisation and its principles, and combat any tendency towards disruption and factionalism,” she said in a statement on Saturday.
“The pictures of women candidates sitting with male candidates on a dinner table with the ANC President signifies that the current ANCWL leadership collective has broken the glass ceiling in the ANC and challenged the highest position within the organisation. In the 105yrs [years] history of the ANC it is for the first time that there are women being nominated to occupy the high echelons of the organisation as President.”
Matuba said the ANCWL would continue persuading other ANC members to support their nomination of Dlamini-Zuma as Zuma’s successor.
“The ANCWL calls for all ANC members in particular leaders to lobby for their own preferred candidates without using threats of South Africa going to be downgraded if certain candidate doesn’t emerge,” Matuba said in an apparent reference to Ramaphosa’s camp.
“It is irresponsible, self-serving and advancing of narrow political agenda for any ANC leader to indirectly lobby for rating agencies to downgrade South Africa if his/her candidate does not emerge. ANC leaders must know that no one has inherit right to lead the ANC. The decision on who must lead the organisation rest upon the branches of the ANC not rating agencies.”