ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairman, Sihle Zikalala, has come out in support of Nkosazana Dlamini, Zuma saying the former AU chairperson would play a leadership role in the ANC.

In what is seen as a clear endorsement of Dlamini Zuma, Zikalala said on Sunday that the former AU chairperson had “led well and she is still going to lead us going forward”.

He did not say what position Dlamini Zuma would occupy. The leadership of the ANC in the province has not made any formal endorsement of any candidate for the ANC presidency.

“The structures of the ANC are yet to speak, and when they speak it will be nothing like what is being said in newspapers. They will pronounce the will of the people because the ANC structures are close to the people. They know the challenges facing the people,” Zikalala said.

He was speaking at the St Catherine Church at Bulwer on  Sunday morning during a church service also attended by Dlamini Zuma and President Jacob Zuma.

The service was held  in honour of Dlamini Zuma to welcome her back to her home town following her stint as AU commission chairperson.

Also speaking at the event, Zuma spoke highly of Dlamini Zuma saying that she had succeeded in every leadership role she has ever occupied. He credited Dlamini Zuma for turning the  AU around saying she had made it a respected organisation.

“When you really want to know a leader you look at his or her track record,” he said.

Also not saying what leadership role Dlamini Zuma should occupy, Zuma said: “She is respected throughout the continent and it would therefore be a shame if she was not respected in her own country.”