Inside the career of Thoko Didiza

Violence erupted in Tshwane after Didiza was announced as the ANC’s mayoral candidate.

Thoko Didiza. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

CAPE TOWN - The endorsement by the African National Congress (ANC) of Thoko Didiza as the party's mayoral candidate for Tshwane has been blamed for the unrest in Atteridgeville and Mamelodi.

Didiza is seen as a compromise candidate, parachuted in when the ANC's Gauteng leadership was unhappy with the three names supplied by the party's branches.

GALLERY: Fiery protests engulf Atteridgeville overnight

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte described Didiza as a "senior and seasoned leader" when she confirmed her as the mayoral candidate for Tshwane yesterday.

"Her nomination for mayoral candidacy demonstrates our commitment to strengthening the capacity of leadership at local government level, across the board."

#TshwaneUnrest A bus has been set alight on Kalafong road in Atteridgeville,reducing it to scrap.KG

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Durban-born Didiza became Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Nelson Mandela's Cabinet in 1994 at the age of 29.

Her political star rose during Thabo Mbeki's tenure when he promoted her to minister, first heading up the agriculture portfolio before taking over the reins at public works.

Loyal to Mbeki, Didiza resigned from Cabinet when he was recalled in 2008.

But she remained popular in the ANC and returned as a member of the national executive committee in 2012, and currently serves as a respected House chairperson in the National Assembly.

Her name was reportedly mooted as a possible replacement for Stone Sizani when he resigned as chief whip earlier this year.

She was reportedly also touted as a possible replacement for National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, if she were to be redeployed.

#tswaneunrest Residents sing and dance near main road as they demand mayor come see them.

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