Dlamini-Zuma is an African Nationwide Congress (ANC) veteran and an skilled technocrat who has served as a minister beneath each chief for the reason that finish of white minority rule in 1994.
She grew to become one of the vital skilled ministers of the democratic post-apartheid period, holding the house affairs, well being and overseas affairs portfolios.
She was additionally chair of the African Union Fee till earlier this 12 months, however operating for the ANC prime job is her largest problem but, with victory placing her in line to develop into the subsequent president of the nation.
Her former husband, with whom she has 4 kids, is preventing a number of corruption scandals and is blamed for lots of the nation’s financial and political issues.
Consequently Dlamini-Zuma, 68, has been pressured to defend herself towards critics who say her elevation would imply the continuation of Zuma’s rule — and that she might defend him from potential prison prosecution.
Talking to AFP lately, she angrily dismissed “offensive” criticism that she was her ex-husband’s hand-picked successor.
Neither the ANC nor South Africa have but had a lady chief and Dlamini-Zuma profitable the occasion management at a convention beginning on Saturday can be a ground-breaking second for the African continent.
‘She is an enigma’
Zuma has thrown his weight behind her, describing her as “daring” and “somebody you’ll be able to belief”. However critics are but to be satisfied.
“She is an enigma… a really troublesome particular person to guage, just because she has at all times operated beneath another person’s shadow,” stated political analyst Susan Booysen.
“Her help is basically primarily based on her husband’s constituency,” she stated.
Born January 27, 1949, within the japanese province of KwaZulu-Natal, Dlamini-Zuma took up politics in highschool.
Within the 1970s she went into exile, finding out in Britain on the universities of Bristol and Liverpool, whereas serving to organise the abroad anti-apartheid motion.
She met Zuma whereas working as a paediatrician at a Swaziland hospital and have become the polygamist future president’s third spouse in 1982.
When the ban on the African Nationwide Congress was lifted in 1990, she returned dwelling.
After the tip of apartheid in 1994, then president Nelson Mandela appointed her well being minister.
She took the helm at a time when hundreds of thousands of individuals have been dying from AIDS.
She didn’t maintain the well being transient beneath Mandela’s successor, Thabo Mbeki, who’s accused of permitting the illness to advance by means of inaction and superstition.
In 1998, Dlamini-Zuma was criticised for suspending pilot trials on the usage of anti-retrovirals to forestall mother-to-child HIV transmission, claiming they have been “unaffordable”.
However she championed HIV consciousness schemes — together with “Sarafina II”, a stage play that embroiled her in a corruption scandal over its value.
‘Her personal particular person’?
South Africa’s graft watchdog dominated that she misled parliament over the challenge’s funding in a scandal that blemished her in any other case spectacular report of public service.
Dlamini-Zuma, who divorced President Zuma in 1998, has obtained backing in her ANC management bid from a number of highly effective corners of the occasion together with its ladies’s and youth wings.
However, in keeping with Carin du Plessis, writer of “Girl within the Wings: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the Race for the Presidency”, some overseas diplomats report “very adverse” encounters.
“If she doesn’t such as you, she is just not afraid to indicate you,” Du Plessis instructed AFP. “I believe she may be her personal particular person so far as it involves governance.”
However Dlamini-Zuma has been muted on key points like corruption, fastidiously treading the occasion line and delivering speeches that promise to push forward with Zuma’s coverage of “radical financial transformation” supposed to assist poor black South Africans.
Identified for her unsmiling manner and stern character, she has campaigned onerous for the ANC job, talking at rallies throughout the nation.
“She takes her work very significantly,” stated Prince Mashele, an analyst on the Centre for Politics and Analysis, who labored with Dlamini-Zuma’s ministry when she held the overseas affairs portfolio.
“She has the uncommon high quality of placing up superb directors, however I believed she might do higher if she was just a little extra affable.”
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