Ace and DD used us to take top 6 position – ANCWL

Johannesburg – Newly elected ANC deputy president David Mabuza and secretary-general Ace Magashule used presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to advance their own campaigns, the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) said on Tuesday.

The ANCWL held a press briefing on the sidelines of the national conference to express its dissatisfaction with the outcome of the ANC top six.

Cyril Ramaphosa won the presidency against Dlamini-Zuma, however, three of the party's critical top six positions were taken by her camp.

ANCWL national spokesperson Toko Xasa as well as league president Bathabile Dlamini blamed patriarchy in the ANC for the outcome of the result. Xasa went on to accuse Magashule and Mabuza of using the ANCWL and Dlamini-Zuma to further their own ambitions for the top posts.

"They did not pull the candidate up. They used it (Dlamini-Zuma's campaign) as a ladder for themselves – that one we are not shy to say. They used that as a ladder for themselves. It's our demonstration to you to say this is how patriarchy is rearing its ugly head."

Dlamini had strongly campaigned for Dlamini-Zuma despite two other high-ranking ANCWL members also expressing an ambition for the top job.

She said the results of the election of the top six were an attack on the gains of women and their struggles since the dawn of democracy.

Tambo 'turning in his grave'

"We feel the ANC has failed the women of South Africa," Dlamini said pointing out that non-sexism was one of the party's values.

"We fought a good fight and the struggle for the emancipation of women must continue. The ANC must take a decision on how women are going to be affirmed. This was history in the making for women. For the first time we had a women in the ballot paper," she said.

The top six currently consists of five men and one woman. Jessie Duarte is the only woman representative in the top six.

"Comrade Tambo must be turning in his grave. There is no doubt about that... We feel that men that were in the campaign, that had the face of a woman, made it [as elected] officials but that women [were] not voted as officials," she said referring to Magashule and Mabuza.

Xasa said the ANCWL's senior leadership would not resign after its failure to ensure their candidate was elected. In fact, she said, they were proud to have changed the status quo.

"We had to work around convincing the ANC itself. Even when you look at branch delegates, mostly they are men. The 60 which is the delegations of the ANCWL would have made that number needed to vote for her."

She said the league intends on raising its position on gender equality within the party in commissions such as the one on organisational renewal.