One woman making it into the ANC top 6 dealt a major blow to the advancement of women in South Africa’s national politics.
The nation will have to live with this for at least the next 5 years and with ANC likely to return power under new President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose deputy is also ambitious and cunning David Mabuza, chances are that South Africa will not see a female occupying the big office at the Union buildings for at least another 15-20 years if the status quo does not change.
With news that a deal is being negotiated for President Jacob Zuma to take an early retirement for him to have a dignified exit, it will be befitting to appoint Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (NDZ) as the caretaker President in the same manner Kgalema Motlanthe was put in that position when Thabo Mbeki was recalled.
Here are the reasons why NDZ will be the best person to take that position.
- It will inspire other women who are the majority in SA to achieve more than she has accomplished at both party and national politics after the hard fought election battle which was the first for women in Africa’s oldest liberation moment. A strong female candidate will be moulded within the next decade to challenge the male dominated political landscape.
- It will unite the ANC that only has one woman in the Top 6 and without representation from KZN that provided most of the voting delegates. KZN is always political volatile and an ANC at peace with itself also unites the country.
- She has made it into the Top 10 of ANC NEC. Despite her previous marriage to President Zuma, she is a woman with an outstanding track record in both government and at the African Union where the ex-husband has not had any kind of influence towards her success. It’s unfortunate she still carries the name Zuma on her surname. It still plays against her political independence.
- She is unlikely to divert from the mandate given to her by the top 6 at Luthuli House and the time period is too short for her to drive any kind of political agenda before the 2019 elections. South Africans will also feel what it is like to have a woman president even if it is for a short while.
- She will provide a platform for engagement and implementing solutions at a national level for the issues that affect women every day that are not limited domestic violence, rape and murders but also lack of transformation for women taking leadership positions in both government and the private sector.
If the leadership of the ANC feel that NDZ might be compromised due to her previous relationship with president Zuma, Lindiwe Silulu (Number 12 on NEC list) is still a compromise candidate who can be caretaker President for the same reasons of balancing power between men and women where the later now need a strong political voice in order for all of us to acknowledge their significant roles in shaping the future of South Africa.
- Constandious T. Munakandafa