League president hits out at those ‘sustaining factions’ and commits to ‘listening’ to leadership should she be deemed unfit for Cabinet.
ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) president Bathabile Dlamini says that a second term for President Cyril Ramaphosa is necessary for the stability of the governing party.
In an interview with City Press, Dlamini warned that those who are already planning to contest Ramaphosa for his position when the ANC goes to its next elective conference in 2022 must not even try to rope in the women’s league.
“What remains is that we will not stop fighting for a woman president. We believe that the ANC must be stabilised and we believe that you keep the stability in the ANC by ensuring that the president has two terms, two consecutive terms so that you don’t kill the ANC. If you want to bring another contested conference, that will break the ANC because we are now in government.
“It is not like before, when you committed to death or prison. The conditions are different. So no one must use the women’s league to instil the differences in movement.
“If people want to carry on with cliques they must look at themselves, not us as the women’s league.
“We can’t go out and mobilise people to vote for the ANC when we are carrying a big stick to destroy the very same ANC that we have been working for.”
Dlamini, who is also the minister for women in the presidency, said that she had not seen such a concerted effort to “sustain factions” in the ANC since the organisation’s unbanning in the early 1990s.
The women’s league had thrown its weight behind Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed former president Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s elective conference in 2017, where Ramaphosa emerged victorious.
The women’s league president said that following that conference, Dlamini-Zuma had convened the women’s league and told them that their task was to rally around Ramaphosa and the newly elected leaders.
“But there is a feeling that the work we have been doing is a fightback strategy of the NDZ and we are behaving as if everything is correct.
“You can’t have a structure going to a meeting and deciding that we are going to work with comrade Cyril and support all the officials, because they were elected at conference, and then also have a side meeting where you decide that you must behave as if you accept the new leaders, but you don’t really.
“You must have a lot of time on your hands if you are able to do that.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture:Kopano Tlape/GCIS
Dlamini’s own future hangs in the balance as Ramaphosa mulls over his options of who to appoint to his first Cabinet, a decision which is likely to be communicated in the next eight days.
The president is under enormous pressure to exclude Dlamini, along with other ministers such as Nomvula Mokonyane, following damning court judgments and Special Investigating Unit reports respectively.
The ANC’s Integrity Commission had been tasked with compiling a report of names of public representatives who, based on public opinion, should not return to serve in the new administration.
Despite the parliamentary and legislature lists being finalised by the IEC this week, that report is yet to be tabled before the NEC. Dlamini’s name is alleged to be one of those who feature in that report.
She told City Press that she had great confidence in the Integrity Commission. On whether or not she would recuse herself from Cabinet should she be elected and found to be one of those deemed unfit by the commission, the women’s leader said she would subject herself to the ANC.
“I will listen to the leadership of the ANC. The ANC can’t keep people they think are going to prevent them from delivering services to the people. What is important is that the ANC – because of its character – must be able to assess its business. Things that are said about people must be tested.”
Weighing in on considerations which Ramaphosa will have to take into account in the composition of his cabinet, Dlamini warned that the ANC had a standing resolution on a ministry for women.
Read: ANC Women’s League to push for more women premiers
“I don’t want people to think I am speaking about the matter because I am reserving a position for myself. When the ANC takes decisions, they are implemented by different sectors. I think the ANC must be careful of taking decisions that always want women to justify their existence.
“I know there were inputs that were presented to the minister of public administration, and because you have a conference decision about the establishment of a women’s ministry, we did not go there to make inputs. So we don’t expect that decision to be changed outside the structures of the ANC, because it is the decision of the ANC that was implemented.
“Therefore people can’t go out and use their energy to destroy the ministry because they are looking at the ministry as Bathabile. A lot of women – and well-respected women – did work and research on the establishment of that ministry.”
Dlamini said that merging the department with other ministries such as social development would be to its detriment, because it had already been neglected even as a ministry within the presidency.
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