With the all-important ANC elective conference starting on Saturday, presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has rejected accusations that her lobbyists are buying delegates.
Campaigners for both Dlamini Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have accused each other’s campaigns of using money to influence delegates in how they vote.
Addressing a banquet organised in her honour by the ANC Women’s League in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, on Wednesday night, the former AU Commission chairperson dismissed claims that her campaign was buying votes.
“People are talking about buying of delegates. We don’t need to buy delegates. No leader I hope would be proud of being elected because of money,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She added that all those who would be backing her presidential ambitions at the conference were convinced during her campaign about what her presidency would bring.
“We have been to every corner of this country addressing cadres’ forums and making people understand, so that when they elect us they elect us out of conviction,” she said.
Dlamini Zuma warned that South Africans and people from other parts of the continent would be keenly watching developments and decisions taken at Nasrec, where the party will hold its congress.
She said delegates must elect a leader who would take the party and the country forward.
“Delegates must elect leaders who will care about the poor people of this country.
"The delegates must elect leaders who are going to use the ANC not for factional battles, but to ensure that they can get into the mainstream of this economy,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She said the party needed leadership to facilitate access of the poor to land and finance.
Dlamini Zuma said she had made history in the ANC by contesting for the presidency of the party. Even if she were to lose in her bid, the name of a woman candidate would be on the ballot for the first time in the party’s 105-year history.
She is lagging behind Ramaphosa after the provincial general council meetings where branches nominated their preferred candidates to succeed President Jacob Zuma.
Dlamini Zuma enjoys support from provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, the biggest and second biggest ANC provinces, respectively, and the ANC leagues.