'Thirst trapping' or legit bid? SA reacts to Duduzane Zuma’s plans to run for ANC president

16 March 2021 - 11:26
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
Duduzane Zuma wants to challenge Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency. File photo.
Image: ALON SKUY Duduzane Zuma wants to challenge Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency. File photo.

ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom has joined the masses in reacting to Duduzane Zuma's plans to become the next leader of the ANC, saying he is a “joke” and “delusional”. 

According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, Zuma said he wants to challenge President Cyril Ramaphosa for the presidency of the ANC at the next national elective conference.

The controversial businessman, who has been living in Dubai for the past five years, said he planned to return “as soon as flights to SA resume again”.

He said his plans should not be seen as an attempt by him to interfere with the court challenges his father, former president Jacob Zuma, faces.

“It is time to move forward, and I believe there is now an opportunity to get involved. I believe I have a lot to offer [as president of the party] and I’m willing to stick my neck out for the ideals that are not being realised,” he told the paper.

Free tertiary education, land expropriation without compensation and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank are some of the policies that Zuma plans to implement.

Zuma has been vocal about entering the political arena and running for president.

Last year, he told Newzroom Afrika that he was planning on entering politics and that he may feature on the ballot papers in the 2024 elections.

He said there was a “strong chance” of him contesting for political office because of the “confusion that’s being put forward by the leadership that exists in the ANC”. 

He also told 702 that he believes that many South Africans trust him to bring change and that they would vote for him, despite his previous business ties with the Gupta family.

Zuma said his interaction with people was what informed his decision to start a political career and denied claims that his father had a hand in it.

“I didn't just wake up and say, 'hey, let me start a political career.' It was because of the people that believe in me and trust me to fight their fight, so that's where I am coming from.

“To say that there is a [Zondo] commission going on and that I have a negative persona, that goes without saying ... but I am here now and that's going to change. There are going to be a lot of interactions, you'll get to know me and enjoy me,” he said.

Weighing in on his presidency plans, Hanekom said: “This guy is just a joke with serious delusions of grandeur. A beneficiary of state capture and the grand Gupta theft.”

Elsewhere on social media, many expressed mixed views on Zuma's plans, with some saying he should go ahead and others saying they would not vote for him.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions: