Welcome back Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, we have big plans for you – ANCYL

Johannesburg – ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Collen Maine said on Wednesday that the "young lions" had big plans for former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Speaking shortly after Dlamini-Zuma landed at OR Tambo International Airport, Maine described Dlamini-Zuma as the future.

"We know that you are no longer serving there [African Union], you are not going to be loitering around. The ANC Youth League has big plans for you but we cannot tell it to you now."

Maine said the youth league would keep its cards close to its chest until "the right time".

The ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal has previously made it public that it would nominate Dlamini-Zuma to take over from her former husband President Jacob Zuma as president of the ANC and the country.

According to an IOL report, at least three of the league's regions in KwaZulu-Natal - Lower South Coast, Harry Gwala and Far North - threw their weight behind Dlamini-Zuma's nomination for the ruling party's number one post.

"All three regions said they preferred the ANC to elect Dlamini-Zuma as the president of the movement," the league's provincial secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo, was reported to have said.

'Happy to be back home'

At the airport about 400 ANCYL and ANC Women's League (ANCWL) members chanted and sang struggle songs while they waited for Dlamini-Zuma.

When the airport doors eventually opened and Dlamini-Zuma stepped out, the crowd screamed in excitement.

Some ANC members, police and private security guards pushed and shoved their way forward, which made it difficult to see Dlamini-Zuma as she emerged.

Eventually, the police restored order and Dlamini-Zuma was given an opportunity to address the gathering before being whisked away to a New Partnership for Africa's Development event.

Dlamini-Zuma steered clear of politics, instead, she thanked the government, ANC members and the nation for supporting her during her four-and-a-half year tenure in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Addressing ANC members, she said: "I am very happy to be back home."

She thanked the hundreds of ANCYL and Women's League members for "a warm welcome home".

"Thank you for welcoming me back. I do indeed feel at home."

Distracted by political aspirations

She said her time away had been an interesting experience.

"I was sent by the ANC government and the continental leadership. The four years have been a very interesting experience for me.

"I have learnt a lot and I will share it with you when I visit you, in your various provinces. For now I just want to thank you for the support, from government, the ANC and the nation. Ngiyabonga [Thank you]," she said.

On Tuesday night, she handed the reins to the new African Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chad's former foreign minister.

AFP reported that Dlamini-Zuma championed the commission's Agenda 2063 development programme, but was seen as being weak on peace and security issues and distracted by her own political aspirations in SA.

ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said the league was proud of Dlamini-Zuma's achievements.

"We know that you are a hard worker and that you are going to take this agenda of women being empowered forward," she said.