A group of top government officials confirmed that President Jacob Zuma has put everything in place for the appointment of his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to his cabinet.
The officials begged anonymity but affirmed that the move will be a way of shoring up her path to succeeding him as ANC next leader and possibly, the next ANC flag bearer at the national elections.
Two deputy ministers and an ANC official, who broke the news to reporters revealed the appointment is scheduled to take place once Dlamini-Zuma steps down as the AU chairperson.
Though the female presidential hopeful hasn’t formally declared her candidacy, some ANC officials (who are also staunch supporters of President Zuma) had also sealed her victory. Likewise, the ANCWL, which publicly announced her as the preferred candidate – over Ramaphosa, Baleka Mbete and others, last week.
She was spotted with the ANC’s top six leaders during a walkabout at a rally commemorating the party’s 105th anniversary in Soweto, near Johannesburg, on January 8.
The candidacy of 67-year-old Dlamini-Zuma was last week, buttoned up by President Zuma, who maintained that the ANC and South Africa is ‘ready’ for a female president. In fact, Zuma clogged up questions on his next successor by expressly announcing Nkosazana as the quintessential candidate.
However, Dlamini-Zuma through her spokesperson has long discredited the growing news.
In an e-mailed response to the questions, her spokesman, Jacob Enoh Eben clarified:
“We are unaware of any plans of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma after her tenure of office at the AU. That which we are certain of is that she will return to South Africa, after facilitating a smooth handing over to the next AU Commission chairperson.”
Trained as a doctor, Nkozana isn’t green-horned in the political sphere. She was once South Africa’s health minister during the Mandela-led regime that rolled out in 1994.
After taking office in 1999, former President Thabo Mbeki crowned her South Africa’s foreign minister and she manned the post for a decade. Then in 1999, she was reassigned to the home affairs.
Her marriage to President Jacob Zuma crashed in 1998. The pair had four children.