Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Pietermaritzburg - African National Congress members, including those nominated for top positions, should accept the outcome of the ANC’s December elective conference, says presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Delivering the Nelson Mandela Lecture in the Pietermaritzburg city hall, she said some of the ANC's current problems stemmed from "bitterness" of people who had been defeated in previous conferences.

“The problem that we have is people who are bitter and this clouds judgement and has a toxic effect on discussions,” said Dlamini-Zuma, who is backed by the ANC's Moses Mabhida region for ANC president.

Accepting defeat would also put an end to tensions and subsequent killings of party members, as seen recently. “In the ANC we do not have a dustbin for people, so everyone should be accommodated,” she said.

While there were problems, each party member should work hard at ensuring that the ANC remained in power. “We must make sure that we win the 2019 elections and we can do so if we commit, the ANC will remain in power.”

Much could be learnt from former president Nelson Mandela and his generation, who put the people ahead of themselves, she said. The Mandela Marathon, from Pietermaritzburg to Howick on August 27, should serve as a reminder to everyone about the importance of sport.

“Madiba used sport to unite the nation and we all remember donning the Springboks shirt, or arriving for Bafana Bafana jerseys and how that impacted in the country.” Dlamini Zuma appealed to young people to be more involved in sporting activities and decried the use of drugs, teen pregnancies, and levels of abuse.