11 September 2017

South Africa: ANC Campaign Notebook - Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Gets Down to Business At Cape Rally

Photo: Government Comunication and Information System
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (file photo).

You would be a fool to write off Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the ANC succession race. The ANC Youth League's 73rd birthday celebrations in Cape Town this weekend were only nominally about marking that rather arbitrary milestone. What they primarily provided a platform for was a demonstration of support for Dlamini-Zuma by the Youth League, the ANC Women's League, and the Umkhonto weSizwe veterans' association. But she is hard to read, and even harder to approach. By REBECCA DAVIS.

The woman who could be South Africa's next president sits on a studded pleather throne on a stage in a community hall in Nyanga. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma does not sprawl backwards in her seat, as an ANC Youth League official next to her does. She sits stiffly upright. She does not scroll through a cellphone, as the neighbouring ANC Women's League secretary-general does. Dlamini-Zuma's hands are clasped together.

On a table in front of her lie her typed speaking notes for the address she is about to give. She has annotated them carefully with handwritten amendments and revisions. On the back of the notes she has jotted down a calculation of the year in which the ANC Youth League was established: 2017 -...

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