Dlamini-Zuma shocks some in ANC

A jubilant Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma  arrives to a rapturous applause at  the closing session of the KZN ANC  provincial general council in Durban yesterday.
A jubilant Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma arrives to a rapturous applause at the closing session of the KZN ANC provincial general council in Durban yesterday.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

In an unprecedented move, presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made an appearance at the KwaZulu-Natal provincial general council (PGC) that nominated her and went on to address it.

This left some of the supporters of Cyril Ramaphosa baffled.

Their spokesman Sithembiso Mshengu also expressed concern. "It's a bit unprecedented," he said briefly.

He played down reports that Ramaphosa supporters snubbed the PGC, saying it was a PGC of the ANC not of factions.

Some Ramaphosa supporters did not return for the second day of the PGC following the announcement of the nominations on Monday night.

While some complained about songs meant to poke fun at them, one delegate from eMalahleni in Newcastle said he was leaving because he had seen the nominations.

"We all know why we came here; we came to be witnesses of the nomination processes and everything else is just a sideshow.

"That's the reality of such PGCs," he said.

While President Jacob Zuma was widely expected to deliver a closing message to the PGC, it was instead Dlamini-Zuma who made a surprise appearance.

The president was in Durban for the provincial government's programme, before jetting back to Johannesburg for the SA Students Congress conference.

Dlamini-Zuma was asked to speak by provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala who said he was doing so because she was the only senior cadre present after treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize had also left the venue.

Dlamini-Zuma congratulated the party for a successful PGC saying she was proud of their discipline.

"Also congratulations on the nominations," she said sending the audience into rapturous applause.

"ANC must win at the conference. It doesn't matter who nominated and who was nominated but what matters is that you exercised your right.

"We want a peaceful conference and the conference of the ANC must be the safest. The atmosphere must be conducive and show us we are comrades.

"Sing songs that unite us, not songs of presidential hopefuls and conference-issued T-shirts," she said.

"Of course we will express our preference at the ballot box. Let's commit ourselves to accepting the results of the conference," she said.

Closing the conference, Zikalala said come December 20, whoever emerges victorious they want a united leadership of the ANC.

"We expect the leadership to embrace all of us. That is the character of the ANC."

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