It is essential that the National Congress (ANC) elect a female president at its elective conference in December, regardless of who that woman might be, presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu said on Thursday evening.
Sisulu said “it’s a must” because a female president reflects the desired change in the country.
“Whether it is Nkosazana [Dlamini-Zuma], whether it is comrade Baleka [Mbete] or anybody… I think it is time now that a woman took the lead,” she said.
Sisulu, 63, was delivering the key note address at a Sasco organised Women’s Day event at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)’s Bellville campus.
The lecture hall was filled to capacity.
Sisulu said no man should present himself as an ANC member if he is accused of gender based violence, “irrespective if he is a deputy minister of state”.
“Almost subconsciously men will always hold onto power to ensure that their dominance remains," she said to loud applause from the crowd.
"Men who abuse women either emotionally or physically are extremely insecure."
Sisulu said she is in discussions with lawyers to make sure that the minimum sentence for a rapist is twenty years in prison without parole.
She said she “took the invitation” to stand for president of the ANC, because she wants to be “counted amongst those who returned the true values of the ANC”.
“I became very concerned, like most people, that our fortunes were not as good as they were in the past, that our popularity was waning, that something has gone wrong in something we ourselves were doing and I needed to be part of the change to see change come about,” she said.
Her campaign promises include free education and an overview of all government policies to ensure they stimulate job growth.
“We must revive the ANC values, it’s a must,” she said at the end of her address.