ANCWL defends decision to back Dlamini-Zuma as next party leader

The ANC Women’s League says it doesn't believe that announcing its preferred candidate can be interpreted as a form of ill-discipline.

FILE: African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) has defended its decision to formally back Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over as ANC president in December saying it doesn't believe that announcing its preferred candidate can be interpreted as a form of ill-discipline.

On Saturday, the Women's League appeared to break with ANC procedures by announcing who it will be supporting at the party's national conference this year.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe reprimanded the league, saying that it is premature to pronounce any names.

The ANCWL says it did not deviate in any way from its long-standing mandate by calling for the election of the ANC’s first female president during its NEC meeting this weekend.

It maintains that the party has not even had 50% female representation, saying that pronouncing its preferred candidate is pursuing the ANC’s policy for equality and non-sexism.

The league says that it will not be persuaded to change its decision despite criticism from Mantashe and President Jacob Zuma, who stated that the qualities the new leader should have must be discussed before names are pronounced.

The Women's League says Dlamini-Zuma is tried and tested and has grown within the ranks of the party, adding that she’s the best person to take over from Zuma in December.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)