A strong and united movement led by the ANC was needed in order to transform the economy, says Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma was speaking at the University of Fort Hare in Alice last night where she was endorsed by several students leaders, the Amathole regional leadership and the provincial ANC Women’s League members who had accompanied her.
The former Cabinet minister and President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife was crisscrossing the province on a three-day programme, in what could be seen as a campaign for the upcoming ANC elective conference in December.
“There should be no fighting among ourselves. And there should be no threat of splintering the organisation. If you are nominated and not elected you support the one who is elected.
"If you are elected you embrace the losers and don’t push them away. So there should be no need for splintering the organisation if we follow those values and principles,” she said.
Addressing an enthusiastic strong crowd of mainly ANC-aligned Sasco students, she spoke out against those who aired the organisation’s dirty linen in public because they did not agree with decisions taken in formal structures.
The former African Union commission chairperson is said to be vying for the presidency of the ANC, and ultimately of the country, with apparent support from her ex-husband. Her main challenger is seen as deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Her criticism about ANC people who were speaking outside formal structures of the ANC “when there are problems” could be seen as a veiled attack on Ramaphosa, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Dr Zweli Mkhize, the party’s treasurer-general, who all spoke out publicly after Zuma’s controversial cabinet reshuffle, saying that they had not been consulted.
“The ANC has had problems before. No organisation goes for 100-plus years without going through problems. But what we were taught is that we discuss problems in the ANC. Inside.
"And when you have discussed them, when there is a decision, we all defend that decision even if when we came we did not agree with it.
“If one convinces us that their view is better than others you can’t go out and say you did not agree. Democratic centralism is that you discuss, you debate but when a decision is taken, you defend,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
She said members of the ANC needed to guard the ANC jealously “because without the ANC, do you think the Demcratic Alliance will care about the things we are discussing? Never!”
Later today Dlamini-Zuma will visit Elliotdale where a prayer would be held against the killing and abuse of women and children and on Thursday will address a cadres’ forum in Skerkspruit.
On Monday she addressed the South African Funeral Practitioners’ Association in East London.
It was Dlamini-Zuma’s first visit to the province since she was rejected by AmaXhosa king Mpendulo Sigcawu while on the campaign trail at the Nqadu Great Place in Willowvale in February. Sigcawu said women were not ready to lead because they were too sensitive.