Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | An ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma was re-appointed a lawmaker in parliament on Thursday, in what is being seen as her latest step to secure the country’s presidency in two years’ time.
The National Assembly confirmed in a statement that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former African Union chief, was sworn in as a member of parliament for the governing African National Congress.
She posted on Twitter that “5 years ago I left parliament with mixed feelings today I return as directed by (the ANC) as a servant of the SA (South African) people.”
“I return determined to contribute to implementing decisions of (the ANC) particularly as it relates to radically improving our people’s lives,” she wrote.
Dlamini-Zuma, 68, is considered a leading candidate to replace Zuma as head of the ANC at a party conference in December, although she has not publically declared her candidacy in the leadership battle.
But she has been endorsed by the ANC’s women and youth leagues, and enjoys support from the powerful KwaZulu-Natal province, which is also Zuma’s stronghold.
Since she left the AU early this year, she has been campaigning across the country, and nominations for the party leadership posts are expected to be announced this month.
Dlamini-Zuma replaced Pule Mabe who resigned from parliament earlier this month, meaning that the ANC had to top up its allocation of MPs.
Opposition leaders and analysts say they believe her deployment to parliament is aimed at strategically positioning her to take over the ANC leadership.