Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in Ixopo on Tuesday. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Durban – Leaders of the ANC in the Harry Gwala Region on Tuesday denied that former AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was on the campaign trail.

Dlamini-Zuma was in Ixopo to present the Stephen Dlamini Memorial Lecture at the Peace Initiative Hall in the town.

Despite denials that Dlamini-Zuma is campaigning she has, however, been heavily backed by the ANC Youth League and the ANC Women's League to succeed her former husband Jacob Zuma as the party's president at its national conference in December.

Zamo Nxumalo, Harry Gwala Region chairperson, said: "This is not a campaign, it's part of the programmes of the ANC, so her visibility should not be seen as campaigning."

Nxumalo's assertions were echoed by Mluleki Ndobe, the former chairperson of the Harry Gwala Region and current mayor of the Harry Gwala District.

"This is part of doing the work of the organisation to engage with various structures of the party. We are undertaking programmes to educate our members on issues such as factionalism and gatekeeping among others," Ndobe said.

He said when the time came, they would be firm on how the ANC should be taken forward and also hailed Dlamini-Zuma as "a member and leader of the ANC in her own right".

"Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is a humble and accessible leader of all the sectors of society either rich or poor, educated or uneducated.

"You can take her to any sector of society and she will relate well with that sector," the mayor said.

The Mercury