Sat Sep 23 00:34:03 CAT 2017

Reasons behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's new post

By Moipone Malefane and Natasha Marrian | 2017-09-12 11:09:31.0

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma being outside of government gives Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa an unfair advantage in the campaign for the ANC presidency.

This is according to a wide-range of sources canvassed by Sowetan on the reason for Dlamini-Zuma's entry into parliament.

The former health, foreign affairs and home affairs minister is set to be sworn in as MP soon, and will later be appointed a minister. Another factor for the move to cabinet is to provide security for her.

Since her return from the African Union, Dlamini- Zuma has been unemployed, relying on her supporters to fund her campaign.

Sources close to Dlamini-Zuma's camp yesterday confirmed she was set to receive a cabinet post, and her introduction into parliament would also allow her to "engage directly" in the ANC caucus in parliament, which appears to be increasingly hostile to President Jacob Zuma.

Two posts that were being flagged by insiders for her to possibly fill include trade and industry or public works.

An insider from the Western Cape yesterday said it was becoming a logistical nightmare to ensure she could travel around the country to campaign with scant resources, effectively provided for by her supporters.

Another source said her entry into parliament and the cabinet would allow for "fair competition" between her and Ramaphosa, whose post allows him significant access her.

Another source said: "Now that she is back [from AU], she is unemployed. She is also not a businesswoman and her life has been in the ANC. She has to look after herself and her family," a campaign insider said.

Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association chairman Kebby Maphatsoe said reports that Pule Mabe had made way for Dlamini-Zuma to enter parliament were "false", as there were already five existing vacancies in the ANC's parliamentary caucus.

"It would make parliament vibrant to see Ramaphosa versus Dlamini-Zuma in parliament. She is an experienced minister and parliamentarian, she must be able to engage directly with members of parliament," he said.

Sources canvassed by Sowetan also poured cold water on reports Ramaphosa would be removed, saying it would be a tactical error on Zuma's part.

Meanwhile, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday said it was wrong for Dlamini-Zuma to be reduced to being a Zuma because she remained a top ANC leader.

Mantashe was responding to questions from ANC branch members asking him about why she had been sent to parliament.

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