In a final interview with The New Age before knowing her fate, presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma fired parting shots at her competitors telling them to not be proud of wins attained through bribery.
Dlamini Zuma told The New Age that it was now up to delegates and God but she was assured a woman president would reign. Asked if she was afraid of losing, Dalmini Zuma responded: “No, why should I be afraid of losing? I’ve made it clear that I’m here to serve the organisation.” Questioned on what she’d prioritise if she were elected, Dlamini Zuma said: “I will focus on unity, that must be the focus of the ANC.” Later she addressed a 3000 seater auditorium at the Destiny Hotel in Ekurhuleni, with the Mpumalanga PEC in full attendance. She was introduced by dancing children and a praise singer.
A confident-looking Dlamini Zuma took to the stage saying: “Land must return to the people to those who live in it and we must get economic freedom. “People are talking of buying delegates. We don’t need to buy delegates. “We have worked, been to every corner of this country attending cadres’ forums, making people understand so that, when they elect us, they elect us out of conviction.” The top two tables flanked by business and religious leaders.
Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi, Social Development Minister and ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini and Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi sang and danced to struggle songs. Also in Johannesburg, Cyril Ramaphosa’s supporters have been flooding hotels, booking rooms and conference ahead of this weekend, When The New Age called a popular Protea hotel inquiring if they still had accommodation, the reception responded: “It’s been taken by ANC members from the Eastern Cape, there are no rooms until next week Thursday.”
As the race goes down to the wire, with Ramaphosa in the lead with 1 859 branch nominations compared to Dlamini Zuma’s 1 330, after all nine provinces completed their provincial general councils, the eyes of the world will be on Nasrec.
Over this week lobbying went up notch with supporters from both sides accusing each other of buying delegates, trying to steal the conference. Closing the event past midnight, Dlamini Zuma told delegates that those who had supported her bid for ANC presidency were for the first time in the nearly 106-year-old liberation movement would vote for a woman to become president.