Current state of ANC concerning, needs cleansing – Former deputy president

Former SA deputy president and current United Nations (UN) executive director for women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, says she is hoping South Africa would recapture some of the promise it showed at the dawn of its democracy.

Responding to a question on her leadership ambitions during a Black Management Forum webinar on women leaders in Africa, she spoke of her “yearning” that South Africa would turn around its socioeconomic fortunes and that the state of the governing party would “improve.”

“Let me say that obviously the state of the ANC right now is concerning… and that I am willing to do all I can formally or informally, to help the ANC in cleansing itself.”

No, thank you

Mlambo-Ngcuka, however, ruled out vying for political power in the African National Congress (ANC) or in government after completing her second term at the UN.

ANC members seldom make public their intentions for higher office prematurely, and Mlambo-Ngcuka was on que in this regard. 

“Do I want to return to vie for leadership within the ANC? That is not my preference at this point in time, frankly.”

She said various paths and platforms existed for whoever wished to pursue political solutions to South Africa’s many challenges.

“I want contribute and work with anyone who wants to make the country work for the right reasons. It is important to advance this and independence could be a part of that. I am willing to work with any person who wants to help the country find itself.”

Thabo Mbeki’s deputy

Mlambo-Ngcuka served as deputy president under the administration of former president Thabo Mbeki between 2005 and 2008, succeeding Jacob Zuma whom Mbeki had fired. 

She also served as minister of minerals and energy between 1999 and 2005.

She took the opportunity to praise Mbeki for his leadership, describing him as a “demanding” captain who “did not suffer fools” but would support his minister’s in difficult times.

Mlambo-Ngcuka is on her second term as executive director of UN Women which ends next year. 

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