Royal hat thrown into the pres­i­den­tial ring

Lindiwe Sisulu’s re­straint re­gard­ing can­di­da­ture van­ishes with her call to save the ANC

Financial Mail - - BETWEEN THE CHAINS BY SIKONATHI MANTSHANTSHA - Theto Mahlakoana mahlakoanat@busi­nesslive.co.za

Hu­man set­tle­ments min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu of­fi­cially launched her pres­i­den­tial cam­paign on Sun­day with the tagline, “It’s a must”.

Though catchy, the slo­gan might prove to be a short­com­ing for a can­di­date who, just two months ago, spoke against ANC lead­ers ac­cept­ing nom­i­na­tions prior to the of­fi­cial launch of the process in Septem­ber.

Back then, she said those who op­por­tunis­ti­cally started their cam­paigns early — a dig at Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-zuma — were wrong to “take the short­est route pos­si­ble”.

Yet, when she stood on the podium in Klip­town this week­end ex­plain­ing why it is “a must” for her to stand, her re­straint for the sake of the party was nowhere to be found.

Sisulu told the hun­dreds who gath­ered at the spot where the Free­dom Char­ter was adopted in 1955 that she wanted to earn them “some­thing more valu­able than money: in­tegrity, hon­our, courage and re­spect”.

“We have to save the ANC,” she im­plored.

There is an­other rea­son why her slo­gan may work against her. Un­like those she stands against, Sisulu was born into po­lit­i­cal roy­alty. She is the daugh­ter of strug­gle icons Al­bertina and Walter Sisulu. Can “It’s a must” be in­ter­preted as an un­am­bigu­ous at­tempt to sug­gest that, by virtue of her lin­eage, she is wor­thy of the top post?

Oth­ers may ques­tion whether it was “a must” for her to de­fend Pres­i­dent Jacob Zuma in par­lia­ment, even while the na­tion was de­mand­ing an­swers from its first cit­i­zen.

Their minds could drift to the time she re­buked DA par­lia­men­tar­i­ans for hav­ing “weak minds” when they called Zuma to ac­count, even go­ing so far as to de­scribe DA chief whip John Steen­huisen as an “es­teemed chief clown”.

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