Attempts by former AU Chairperson and President Zuma’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to garner the support of Xhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu for her presidential ambitions boomeranged when the monarch bluntly advised her to quit the race.
King Sigcawu told the female presidential aspirant that South Africa is not ready for a woman president; adding that “women are too weak to lead”.
Dlamini-Zuma had claimed that her visit at Sigcawu’s Nqadu Great Place in Willowvale, near Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape, was to merely pay homage to the amaXhosa king, but it turned out that she visited the king with the intention of seeking his support ahead of the ANC’s national elective conference.
She told the crowd at the meeting that she considers herself very fit to take over from President Jacob Zuma because she has been tried and tested and had recorded many successes when she served as a minister in different portfolios under all three democratic presidents.
Heaping praises on herself, Dlamini-Zuma said she’s positive the continent will be elated to have a progressive and dynamic female president like her if elected.
A handful of ANC supporters, accompanied by ANC Women’s League members, affirmed that the former AU chairperson will make a good president.
Deputy minister for water and sanitation Pam Tshwete also touched on the matter while speaking. She tried to convince the king that men have ruled the country for so long. Thus, the reason for a female president.
“My king, South Africa has been led by men for too long and now mama Zuma should take the baton … in America people disregarded a woman, Hillary Clinton, and chose a man, and now they are led by a manic man called Donald Trump.”
In response, King Sigcawu made his stand known by saying: “South Africa is not yet ready to be led by a woman president. Women are sensitive by nature. The country’s problems have overwhelmed leaders who are men, how much more [so] for a woman.”
King Sigcawu is one of President Zuma’s most vocal critics. Last year, he slammed President Zuma for being the cause of ANC’s poor performance at the 2016 municipal elections.
Speaking at an event hosted by the department of justice and correctional service, the royal chief, at the time, called on leaders of ANC to remove Zuma in order to save the party from free-falling.
AmaXhosa King Zwelonke Sigcawu was sworn in last year in Nqadu in the Eastern Cape. He was the first AmaXhosa king to be sworn in in 50 years.