“What did we fight for? To be apologetic? Let us transform this economy, it is ours. We are not excluding anyone but we are not going to be excluded and keep quiet,” said the former AU Commission chairwoman who is one of the frontrunners in the race for the ANC presidency.
Addressing an ANC Youth League gathering at the Durban University of Technology, she said colonialism and apartheid had created inequality and that had to be addressed by the government.
“Yes, this country belongs to all who live in it, black or white.
“But that does not mean some section (of the population) must have land and another section must not have it.”
Stating her support for free education, she said because education had been used as a tool to oppress black people, it must be used to liberate them. “They made sure we were given minimum education just to allow us to take commands from white people. In this country there were jobs that were reserved for whites. So the education system was to ensure that the whites are trained and skilled while black people supply cheap labour,” she said to applause from the league members who had packed the Cane Growers Hall.
Dlamini Zuma said education would play a crucial role in the transformation of the economy, calling it the “biggest equaliser”. The economy would also not grow unless the majority could participate in it. Only when people were skilled were they able to take part in the economy, she said, before adding that no child should be excluded from studying due to lack of finances. Dlamini Zuma also called for the transformation of universities, saying more black professors were needed.
“If you are a student coming to a university and all your maths and science professors are white, you start to think maybe I cannot make it. But if you find black professors you start to think I can be there. We need those role models.”
Initially billed as a talk on free education, the event quickly turned into a campaign platform for Dlamini Zuma as her ANC and ANCYL backers pronounced their support for her campaign.
Bheki Ntuli, the chairman of the ANC in eThekwini, said the party’s biggest region was clear it wanted Dlamini Zuma as its next president, while also affirming support for President Jacob Zuma.
“Those who are concerned about their wealth can march all they like. Zuma’s support is not in the media, not on TV and not in newspapers, but it lies here in the branches. We will be sending the biggest delegation to the policy conference and we will be clear on issues, especially those pertaining to economic transformation”.
The provincial chairman of the ANCYL in KZN, Kwazi Mshengu, addressed Dlamini Zuma as the incoming president of the ANC.
“Here we have invited someone in whom we will entrust our future.”
Taking a dig at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, another frontrunner in the race, Mshengu said even those who were against radical economic transformation were now claiming it as their own idea.
On Wednesday, Ramaphosa addressed a gathering of the Black Business Council where he expressed support for rapid economic transformation.
“Not so long ago the same people were lambasting the president saying what is this radical economic transformation. Some were saying investors will run away if we talk about radical economic transformation. Now they want to claim the idea,” Mshengu said.