King Zwelonke Sigcawu has entered the ANC's succession race debate, telling presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma that the country was not ready for a woman president, The Star reported on Wednesday.
Dlamini Zuma was reportedly visiting Sigcawu's Nqadu Great Place near Mthatha on Tuesday for a "courtesy" visit when he made the remarks. There was a question and answer session in a marquee at the palace, with several ANC supporters, who reportedly came to hear how Dlamini-Zuma intended to improve the lives of rural people.
The paper reported that he told her, "The country is not ready for a woman president because even our democratic presidents which are all men have not accomplished their mission of turning it around."
The Star said the king slaughtered an ox for Dlamini-Zuma, yet still "attacked" President Jacob Zuma.
According to The Star, Siqcawu said traditional leaders were "at an advanced stage" in forming their own political party, following government's perceived "failure" to listen to their concerns.
Sigcawu told The Star on the sidelines of the event: "I am not sure about her capabilities for the presidency. Sending her to the presidency would be just a disaster because our country is in a mess."
But Deputy Water And Sanitation Minister Pam Tshwete campaigned for Dlamini-Zuma at the event, The Star reported.
Tshwete said: "We are here to support our candidate and asijiki."