ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini says Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma were pro-women representation

The president of the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) Bathabile Dlamini has lauded former presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma for being part of the struggle for women’s representation in leadership positions.

Dlamini was on Thursday speaking at People’s Park in eThekwini (Durban), KwaZulu-Natal where a welcome prayer was held for Zuma following his release from prison on medical parole.

The patriarchy has instilled fear among the rank and file of the ANCWL so that they do not call for a woman president, Dlamini charged.

Dlamini added that it is a first in history that a conference is spoken about years after it was convened, a conference where a woman candidate for the party presidency lost the race, she added.

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The ANCWL had nominated Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as its preferred candidate for party president ahead of the ANC’s 2017 conference, where the now minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs lost that race to incumbent party and state president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Dlamini said the ANCWL will continue to be a champion of women’s rights and for calling for a woman president.

The instilling of fear to silence the call for a woman will be “like water off a duck’s back”, Dlamini said, further alleging that lies and state institutions are being used against those making this call and that this has only made them fearless.

Dlamini, a former minister of social development, has previously accused the state of targeting her after she was summoned to court on a case of perjury.

The matter relates to Dlamini’s testimony at a Constitutional Court instituted inquiry which looked at her role in the social grants saga which unfolded during her tenure at the ministry in 2017.

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Dlamini reiterated that the call for a woman president will continue, adding that such a candidate will deal decisively with corruption.

The former minister also lamented the lack of women representation in the ANC’s candidates for the upcoming local government elections, saying the league should continue to pray and work hard for women representation in the party’s structures, from the branch, regional, provincial and national levels.

Dlamini added that these women leaders would be honest and trustworthy leaders who would fight for women’s rights rather than for positions.

“A leadership that is not for the representation of women should be feared,” Dlamini said.

Watch the proceedings below:

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