Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Picture: Luyolo Mkentane/The Star

Johannesburg - Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé has hailed Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as a world leader who contributed vastly to the development of South Africa and the African continent.

He said South Africans need to celebrate their heroines, of which Dlamini Zuma was one.

He also expressed disgust at the the fact that Dlamini Zuma was often described as President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife, saying she was a successful woman in her own right.

Dr Survé made the remarks in Sandton on Thursday during the Joburg launch of Dlamini Zuma's book which highlights her role while at the helm of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"We don't celebrate our heroes and heroines enough particularly during Women's Month. We tend to not recognise the successes of women in our country and the African continent.  This month gives us the opportunity to tell the stories of our women in our continent," said Dr Survé.

He also lashed out at society's double standards, saying women were more subjected to scrutiny than men. Dlamini Zuma, said Dr Survé had contributed greatly to government in her various roles as minister of health, home affairs and of foreign affairs.

Dlamini Zuma is credited for standing up to the cigarette industry by banning smoking in public spaces.

"During her tenure as minister of foreign affairs, under the Presidency of Thabo Mbeki, we had one of the most successful periods as a country internationally. We were held in great stature," said Dr Survé.

He said Dlamini Zuma, who wants to succeed Zuma when he steps down as ANC leader in December, was a servant of the people. "She contributed greatly to the development of our people."

The country needed to defend the gains made in social justice in the country.

Dr Survé then trained his guns on the role of the media during the dark apartheid years, saying some media houses were co-opted by the brutal regime. He said the media had not been held to account for its role during the apartheid regime.

He stressed that the apartheid government owned shares in the Naspers group, and that a Sunday Times editor was a "paid security spy". "These are facts," said Dr Survé, calling for a need to unite for social and economic freedom in South Africa.

Business leaders and government representatives including ministers attended the book launch.
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The Star