South African President and leader of the ruling African National Congress, Jacob Zuma says the country and ANC are ready to have a woman as president.
The president’s comments on who succeeds him after the demise of his tenure in 2019 is largely seen as an implied endorsement for his ex-wife and outgoing African Union chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as ANC president.
Speaking on Wednesday during an interview broadcast on four of the SABC’s Nguni language stations, Ukhozi FM (Zulu), Umhlobo Wenene (Xhosa), Ligwalagwala FM (Swazi) and Ikwekwezi FM (Ndebele), Zuma, not only welcomed the idea for a woman leader for the ANC, but also spoke about corruption issues in the party saying it all depends on how the party expose themselves.
“To answer the question as to whether I support a woman to become a president: I would have no problem to have a woman as my leader. I am open to this possibility, as long as the majority of ANC branches also think so by electing that woman to lead the organisation and our country,
“We said it a long time ago, that all ANC members are equal and can stand for any positions in the organisation. Women have always played a critical role in the ANC. Now if a woman leader is competent enough, and ANC members think she is capable of taking a leadership position, there is nothing that can stop her,” Zuma said in the interview.
Dlamini Zuma has received widespread support from the party’s women league (ANCWL) to contest for the party leadership which is expected to take place this year. She will be battling it out head-on with the Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa who has gained the support of the Trade union federation Cosatu to be president after Zuma.
Meanwhile, Zuma said he has no interest in contesting for any of the party’s leadership positions at the elective conference in December. He said even if he were nominated, he would not stand in because “this would create two centres of power”.
“There was a time when one president tried to get a third term that would have created two centres of power because the country’s Constitution did not allow for one person to serve three terms as a president.
“I was against this then and I am against it now. I cannot be against it when another president does it and do the same thing myself,” he said.
On issues of perceptions of corruption within the top leadership of the ANC, Zuma said South Africans need to commend the ANC for fighting and exposing all acts of corruption in the country.
“People must realize that the ANC government even built structures to expose and fight corruption. Even some ANC members have been found guilty and gone to jail for corruption,” he said.