Stop 'Zuma-shaming' Nkosazana

Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula supports Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. / ESA ALEXANDER
Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula supports Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. / ESA ALEXANDER

Mbalula beats the drum for NDZ

President Jacob Zuma's sins cannot be transferred to his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Dlamini-Zuma should not be punished for her bedroom past, said Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, who wrote an open letter yesterday giving reasons why he supported Dlamini-Zuma to succeed Zuma as ANC leader.

"I [also have] my own gravely regrettable past in my personal life. After my mistakes, I have stood for public office and gotten elected or nominated several times," Mbalula wrote.

"In all these times, no one has ever thrown any aspersions on my leadership abilities because of my private life, past misdeeds and mistakes.

"I have won and lost elections, not once was it ever said I am losing because of what occurs in my bedroom or because of who I am married to. This is because I am a male."

Mbalula said it was shocking that some in the ANC, including women, were Zuma-shaming Dlamini-Zuma.

"I am not able to understand how my wife would ever have to carry any sins the public cast upon me. The nudge here is that this is only reserved for women and men do not carry their wives' sins, if any.

"This talks to patriarchy and how it has perverted our psyche and culture."

Mbalula called on women to rise and confront patriarchy and male chauvinism.

Dlamini-Zuma will go head to head with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC national elective conference in Nasrec, Soweto, at the weekend. Mbalula, who is also the ANC's head of campaigns, wrote Dlamini-Zuma was "no mortgaged soul and has not developed any emotional bonds with the white capitalist class" in South Africa.

"She owes no one her salt and pepper. Her bread remains her sweat and less about access to power. Her parliamentary declarations of assets clearly tell a tale of a woman steadfastly rooted among her people no matter what."

This can be interpreted as a reference to Ramaphosa, who is seen by some in the ANC as being close to the white capitalist class. Mbalula also lashed out at those suggesting that the election of Dlamini-Zuma would be a continuation of Zuma.

"It comes easy to people to reduce mama as a pawn of President Zuma.."

Mbalula was not available to elaborate. Mathole Motshekga, an ANC NEC member on the Ramaphosa slate, said Mbalula was misleading the public.

"The situation of who should be the next ANC leader is owned by ANC members," Motshekga said.

"ANC members will be given that opportunity over the weekend. The majority of ANC members have indicated they want Cyril to be leader of the ANC and the country."

Motshekga said the public had a right to form perceptions about all ANC leaders.

TimesLIVE looks back at Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s political career as the ANC gathers in Gauteng to elect its new leader. Credit: SABC News