ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini

Johannesburg - ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini on Sunday lambasted ANC presidential hopefuls Baleka Mbete and Lindiwe Sisulu, saying former African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the only woman candidate chosen by the league to take over the ANC presidency at the party’s elective conference in December.

"Our power is in the branches where we nominate progressive women… because women are not all the same. We have pronounced ourselves as the women’s league, our vote says Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma," Dlamini said to applause and cheering at an ANCWL prayer rally at the Germiston Stadium in Ekurhuleni.

"We are not confused, we took that decision as the structure of the ANC. Anyone who is a woman presidential candidate can go anywhere wearing whatever… but they should not think that they are representing the ANCWL. We have a line of march and everyone should take the marching orders. The marching order to all South African women is that comrade Dlamini-Zuma is the president of the ANC come the December conference."

The other women presidential hopefuls are ANC chairwoman and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. 

The race for the ANC presidency in December has so far seen six people putting their hands up for election to take over from President Jacob Zuma. They are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former ANC treasurer general Matthews Phosa, ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe, Dlamini-Zuma, Mbete, and Sisulu. 

On Sunday Dlamini said although the ANCWL would not stop anyone from supporting a different candidate no one would be allowed to do so under the banner of the ANCWL. The other women candidates should “clarify” who chose them to run for the presidency, she said.

"The structures of the ANCWL have spoken. They are not saying who elected them to contest… instead they make us think we do not know what we are doing… we have a mandate," Dlamini said.

Others at the rally included Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina, ANCYL secretary Njabulo Nzuza, and Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus. Dlamini-Zuma was also expected to address the mainly ANCWL members and supporters attending the rally.

African News Agency