NewsSouthern AfricaDlamini-Zuma turns from Addis Ababa to South Africa


Posted on Thursday, 07 April 2016 11:26

Dlamini-Zuma turns from Addis Ababa to South Africa

Chair of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says she will step down at the end of July. Photo©Elias Asmara/AP/SIPAAfrican Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says she will step down at the end of July, fuelling speculation that she will run for president in her native South Africa in elections slated for 2019.

Dlamini-Zuma is a strong favourite to win the leadership of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the party's 2017 conference largely because she is backed by her former husband, President Jacob Zuma.

Dlamini-Zuma's core support is with the ANC women's league, who have also expressed their loyalty to the president.

Zuma's allies control key ANC machinery including the national working committee and national executive committee. But President Zuma is fighting for his political life and the impact of multiple scandals on his ability to shape future events is unclear.

Zuma weathered a series of storms over the last few weeks that included rising anger over ANC corruption and his ties with the wealthy Gupta family.

He was also censured by the highest court in the land over his failure to pay back money spent on lavish additions to his private Nkandla residence and survived a second attempt by the opposition to impeach him.

Dlamini-Zuma will have to fight off the political ambitions of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is believed to have the backing of the business community, but lacks a large constituency within the ANC.

Ramaphosa has been identified with a section of the ANC that is less amenable to Zuma following repeated allegations of graft.

How any successor deals with his multiplicity of cases is of great interest to the president.

Nicholas Norbrook

Nicholas Norbrook

Nicholas Norbrook is Managing Editor of The Africa Report, helping to set up the magazine in 2005. He has been a producer for Radio France International, and has lived and worked in West Africa. In 2011 he won the Diageo Business Reporting award for Journalist of the Year.

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