08/05/2017 12:32 SAST | Updated 08/05/2017 12:39 SAST

3 Things You Should Know About Presidential Hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

The former AU head has given her first interview since returning from Ethiopia

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Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addressing ANC Youth League members and students at the Durban University of Technology on issues of free education in Durban on April 20, 2017. (Siyanda Mayeza/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

In her first interview since returning from Ethiopia, where she was head of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said she will strive to unify the ANC - if nominated to run for the presidency.

The interview, which was published in The Star, highlights Dlamini-Zuma's aversion towards patriarchy and her animosity toward claims that her ex-husband, President Jacob Zuma, is supporting her.

Here are three significant things that should be noted from Dlamini-Zuma's interview:

  1. Dlamini-Zuma will run for president if nominated: She made her intentions clear, saying she would not decline if asked to stand because she has spent her entire life serving the ANC.
    "I am my own woman and I have worked hard to be here," she said. "No amount of patriarchy will stop me from serving my people."
  2. Suggestions that she has Zuma's backing make her angry: During the interview, Dlamini-Zuma made it clear she is not the president's wife and that their relationship only exists through their children.
    "I divorced him in 1998, when I was health minister, and long before he became president. He wasn't even deputy president. He was an MEC in KwaZulu-Natal. I was already in government and had a career for myself."
  3. Feminism is a big deal for Dlamini-Zuma: She made it clear in the interview that her credentials to run for president have come about through her work and not because she has a male figure (Zuma) supporting her.
    "Why would people now think I can only succeed with him pushing me? Why are they raising this issue only now, if not to discredit me and unfairly judge me? Their agenda is clear: women can't lead. There has to be a man behind them."

Dlamini-Zuma will deliver the memorial lecture for ANC struggle stalwart Steven Dlamini on Tuesday. The event takes place in the Harry Gwala region in KwaZulu-Natal at 2pm.