One would think that Ward 32 in Durban would have been dismayed at the outcome of Monday’s night’s ANC presidential vote. After all‚ this is the branch that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma calls home.
But that was not the case. Not by a long shot.
The Gedleyihlekisa branch – named after President Jacob Zuma’s middle name – nominated Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency. And on Monday night they celebrated his victory.
The branch has‚ however‚ extended an olive branch to Dlamini-Zuma following her defeat.
"We never supported her candidacy‚ which resulted in us not even going to the national conference. But she is our leader. We support her and we still need her leadership and guidance‚" said branch secretary Siyabulela Njokweni.
He said the branch had tried all it could to have a political discussion with Dlamini-Zuma over their differences‚ but that she never asked them to endorse her and never held any activities in her own branch. This‚ they felt‚ basically amounted to her snubbing them.
"It's all water under the bridge now. We are hoping she will be included in the NEC because we still want to have an NEC member in this branch. It's because the top six is dominated by men and only one woman. It's a loss for women‚" he said.
"Had she campaigned to be the deputy president‚ we would have definitely supported her."
Njokweni said they are hoping to campaign with Dlamini-Zuma at the upcoming by-election in their ward.
"I cannot stress this more: we need comrade Nkosazana‚" he said.