SA presidential hopeful vows to keep Zuma surname

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

South Africa’s presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has lashed out at her detractors, saying they were hell-bent on tarnishing her image because she carries the Zuma surname.

Dr Dlamini-Zuma is an ex-wife of President Jacob Zuma. The two divorced in 1998, but she has kept the Zuma surname.

The former African Union chairperson has faced a barrage of criticism on her presidential campaign because of her association with the incumbent.

“They are dishonest and they know it. They have never used it against me even when I was at home affairs. He (President Zuma) appointed me and they said nothing. I went to Addis and nothing was said. They only raise it now when it suits them,” Dr Dlamini-Zuma said on the sidelines of a weekend rally.

“When I got divorced, it was important to keep my children’s identity. They stayed with the Zuma surname. They wanted to abandon it but I wouldn’t allow it. I have kept that surname for the past 20 years and I won’t change it,” she said.

She said one of the biggest challenges of her campaign was the media onslaught.

“They (media) are taking sides and so they are campaigning against me. But these are challenges that half of the nation faces.

"These, however, are not the determining factors of who should become president because the branches have to decide,” she said.

The former Home Affairs minister said her aim was to focus on the difficulties facing the country, which included poverty, unemployment, inequality and violent crime.

“South Africans must contribute to resolving these problems. That is what the crisis is. In my view, the crisis is not who becomes president, but how we solve these challenges that face the country.”

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