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Johannesburg - The time is not yet ripe to have a woman lead the African National Congress, the party's women's league said on Monday.
“With time we will have women presidents in the ANC,” ANCWL secretary general Sisi Tolashe told reporters in Johannesburg.
“As a liberation movement we'll celebrate one day to say that time has come and nobody will ever say no when that time comes... I think we are almost there now.”
She said the ANC had made strides in having women in top positions. There were woman heading strategic portfolios in Parliament as ministers, and women made up half the ANC's national executive.
“We are the only organisation in the country and the continent that recognises the fact that women can be leaders themselves,” said Tolashe.
ANCWL president Angie Motshekga said the league would have been fighting a “futile battle” if it had tried to push for a woman president or deputy president.
“We know the ANC, we understand the ANC, we understand the ANC processes, and no one wants to go into a futile battle. There are traditions, there are processes and those processes have a long, long life,” she said.
Motshekga said the ANCWL knew last year at the ANC's Mangaung conference that fighting for a woman for president or deputy president was a lost battle. However, this did not mean that women in the party did not have ambition for senior office.