Jacob Zuma endorses Dlamini-Zuma for ANC president, avails himself for chairman position

South African former president Jacob Zuma has made himself available to contest in the upcoming national conference while endorsing his former wife Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the top job.

In a statement released in the early hours of Tuesday, 27 September, Zuma said Dlamini-Zuma remains the best candidate to challenge President Cyril Ramaphosa again and take the movement forward.

He revealed that he had been approached by various branches to contest for the position of chairman and is accepting the challenge.

Zuma’s statement was released ahead of the KZN provincial executive committee announcement of who the province will be backing in the conference.

The provincial branches completely snubbed Dlamini-Zuma and endorsed axed health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize for president and ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile for deputy president.

The province also nominated Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle for secretary-general and former water affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane for deputy secretary-general.

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha was nominated for the chairman position.

For the treasurer-general position, the province said it will be open to persuasion by other provinces.

The nominations went against Zuma’s expectations, who despite his poor health, has made himself available.

In his letter, Zuma threw his weight behind his former wife.

“The candidate that we supported in 2017 at the 54th national conference remains the most capable to lead the ANC, given her track record in the movement and government, leadership capabilities and qualities and her understanding and knowledge of the ANC amongst others.

“I have heard a few comrades raising some issues with regards to her, but unfortunately they all dismally failed to present a better candidate with better credentials than hers except those who have a lot of money,” he wrote.

Zuma added that unfortunately it was only those who have lots of money who won conferences and not those with capabilities.

“I also wish to advise I have not endorsed or supported any other presidential candidate for the 55th national conference as reported by social media,” he said.