Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has delivered her final address ahead of this week’s African National Congress (ANC) national elective conference, which could see her becoming the party’s first female president.
Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are front-runners in the race to replace President Jacob Zuma, who steps down after ten years at the helm of the 105-year-old liberation movement.
The former AU Commission Chairperson used her last speaking engagement to call for changes to the country’s economy and education, telling guests at a fundraising gala dinner - held in her honour in Kempton Park - that the country could not condemn its children when it came to issues of literacy.
Dlamini-Zuma also touched on the need for South Africa to answer questions South Africans, the continent and the globe might have for the governing party, as it seeks to not only elect new leadership, but to also renew itself.
"South Africans will be watching to hear our debates around historic injustices like the land," said Dlamini Zuma.
Her gala dinner was attended by several ministers, including Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Faith Muthambi and Tokozile Xasa.
Ekuruleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina, who’s region opted to back Ramaphosa, defied the mandate given to him by his region and the Gauteng province by backing the Dlamini-Zuma campaign, even after the province’s general council threw its weight behind the deputy president.
She quoted a part of the freedom charter which said South Africa belongs to all who lived in it, saying the land and the economy had to be shared among all the people in the country.
"Our fore-bearers said it, we must implement it," she said on the controversial land question.
"Our people, black and white, will also be taking a keen interest to hear what our movement will do about radical economic transformation and unemployment," said Dlamini-Zuma.
She spent a considerable part of her speech thanking those who have backed her campaign, including the ANC Women’s League, the ANC Youth League and the Umkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans Association.
"I want to thank the Women's League for having the courage of their conviction," said Dlamini-Zuma.
She also thanked society for being open to her and her team as they explored the lengths and breadth of the country.
"Whatever happens at the conference, thank you, you have started making history," said Dlamini-Zuma.
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