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SA ruling party youth wing backs ex-AU chief to succeed embattled Zuma

SA ruling party youth wing backs ex-AU chief to succeed embattled Zuma

South Africa

Former African Union Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has gotten another endorsement in her race to succeed embattled President Jacob Zuma as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The ANC’s youth wing on Tuesday said it will back Dlamini-Zuma to take over from her former husband President Zuma in a contest scheduled for December this year.

The youth league’s endorsement was preceded months back by that of the women’s wing of the party, the party’s military veterans and Zuma himself.

Amongst the leadership qualities we are looking for is an uncompromising commitment to 'radical economic transformation'.

Dlamini-Zuma, a medical doctor and health minister under Nelson Mandela will most likely be coming up against deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the race to lead the ANC. Ramaphosa, a trade unionist turn businessman is also thought to have the backing of powerful trade union groups.

“Amongst the leadership qualities we are looking for is an uncompromising commitment to ‘radical economic transformation’,’” the youth league said in a statement.

Dlamini-Zuma has pledged to bridge the gap between blacks and whites, the source of widening discontent in one of Africa’s most advanced economies over two decades after apartheid rule.

Zuma’s reign as president has been dogged by corruption scandals and biting court verdicts on his conduct. Albeit he is able to stay on as head of state till general elections in 2019, there is a call to replace him as leader of the party to mitigate the political damage that the scandals have caused.

The ANC has been split on the issue of Zuma’s leadership with internal calls for him to step down. A recent cabinet reshuffle negatively affected the country’s ratings with a recession – the first in eight years – worsening matters.

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