Dlamini-Zuma poised for Cabinet appointment

South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will this week be sworn in as a Member of of South Africa's Parliament, fuelling speculation that a Cabinet appointment was imminent.

Dr Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are front-runners in the race to replace President Jacob Zuma as the African National Congress (ANC) leader at the party’s elective conference in December.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe confirmed the plan.

“She is going to be sworn in as an MP. You must remember she was in the top 20 and then went to Addis Ababa. We kept her on the list. On her return, we couldn’t put her in immediately because we can only change our list in September,” Mr Mantashe said.

Parliament said it was in the process of setting a date to have Dr Dlamini-Zuma sworn-in as an MP, to replace Mr Pule Mabe, who resigned earlier this month.

Heightened speculation

Dr Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign was now in full swing and the parliament deployment has heightened speculation that she was lined up for a Cabinet position.

In South Africa, one cannot be made a Cabinet minister without being an MP.

When asked on the sidelines of an ANC Youth League event on Sunday about the possibility of a Cabinet post, Dr Dlamini-Zuma said, “I don’t know anything about that.”

Meanwhile, the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe Veterans has thrown its weight behind her.

Track record

Umkhonto We Sizwe spokesperson Carl Niehaus said Dr Dlamini-Zuma was the only candidate committed to pushing radical economic transformation.

“There is one candidate who has committed herself unequivocally to radical economic transformation, and that is uMama (our mother),” he said.

ANC Youth League Secretary-General Njabulo Nzuza referred to Dr Dlamini-Zuma as simply “the incoming president of the ANC”.

The ANC Women’s League also welcomed the move to have her in the National Assembly, saying her track record in Cabinet speaks for itself.

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