South Africa are we ready for a woman to lead us? We take a look into three dominant figures that are possibly suitable for the top post
Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma, Baleka Mbete or maybe Thuli Madonsela (Just to go a bit out of the box)
Former President Jacob Zuma’s wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and National Speaker Baleka Mbete have been touted as the next individuals to succeed President Jacob Zuma when his term as President comes to an end.
Below are profiles of the women who could replace President Zuma and become the country’s first female president.
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 67, President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife, is the first woman to be elected as the chairperson of the African Union Commission on 15 July 2012.
Dlamini-Zuma a South African Politian, became active underground member of the African National Congress (ANC) in the early 1970s, she was also a member of the South African Students Organisation and in 1976 was elected as the deputy president.
In the same year 1976 she went to exile for nine year, where she completed her medical studies at the University of Bristol and returned in 1985 to the United Kingdom to complete a diploma in tropical child health from Liverpool University’s School of Tropical Medicine. Upon receiving her diploma, she worked for the ANC Regional Health Committee before accepting the position of director of the Health and Refugee Trust, a British non-governmental organisation.
In 1994 under President Nelson Mandela Dlamini- Zuma was sworn in as SA’s Minister of Health, then Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe. She was then moved to the position of Minister of Home Affairs under President Zuma’s cabinet.
Thuli Madonsela, 54, South Africa’s Public Protector and an advocate in the Country, was a member of the team who drafted the final constitution of South Africa promulgated by then President Nelson Mandela in 1996.
Madonsela a graduate with a BA in law from the University of Swaziland and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2015 she was awarded two Doctor of Laws degrees, LL.D.(Honoris causa) from the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town.
As Public Protector Madonsela has investigated complaints regarding the amount spent on President Zuma’s private homestead in the KwaZulu-Natal town of Nkandla. Her final report on security upgrades to Zuma’s homestead titled “Secure in Comfort” was published on 19 March 2014.
In the report Madonsela found that President Zuma had benefited unduly from the R246 million the state had spent on the upgrades. The report has been met with much criticism and opposition from representatives of the ANC ruling party.
In March 2016 opposition parties took President Zuma to the Constitutional Court to enforce Madonsela’s findings. The Constitutional Court the delivered a unanimous judgement stating that the Public Protectors report was binding and Zuma and the National Assembly failed to uphold the country’s constitution.
Baleka Mbete , 67, is the speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa; she is the former Deputy President of South Africa under Preside Kgalema Motlanthe from 2008-2009 and was previously the Speaker of the National Assembly from 2004-2008.
Mbete a South African politician and member of the ANC joined the party in 1976 after leaving for exile. Upon returning from exile she was in 1991elected as the secretary-general of the ANC women’s League.
In 1994 and 1995 she was elected as an ANC MP and appointed chair of the ANC parliamentary caucus. She was also a member of the Presidential Panel on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Pan-African Parliament.
On 18 December 2007, at the 52nd National Elective Conference of the ANC held in Polokwane, Mbete was elected as the ANC’s national chairperson.
In 2012 the ANC elected its new leaders at its 53rd national conference in Mangaung and Mbete was re-elected as the national chairperson