Outgoing African Union (AU) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has a house allocated to her in President Jacob Zuma’s private homestead in Nkandla.
Dlamini-Zuma whose name has come up as a possible candidate to succeed Zuma when he steps down from office in 2019, has become a regular visitor at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in the past two years, Sunday Times report.
Although Dlamini-Zuma stays in Addis Abbaba, Ethopia, a family member (who wanted to remain anonymous) who spoke to the newspaper said that Dlamini-Zuma frequented the home and that nothing happened at the Nkandla homestead without her knowledge.
Another family member confirmed that Dlamini-Zuma doesn’t miss any function that takes place in Nkandla.
Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesperson, Vukani Lumumba Mthintso, rubbished the report.
“But the chairperson lives in Addis Ababa, not in Nkandla,” he said.
“You understand that she is divorced from the president, right? How can she also live in his Nkandla home? Even the other wives will never allow that,” Mthintso told Sunday Times.
“You should be writing about the legacy she is leaving for Africa. Before her, there was no vision for Africa, but today there is 50% women representation at the AU. Let’s write about what Africa has achieved. This is not going to help us. Think of it: Nkandla and Africa.”
Dlamini-Zuma has been seen as a stronger candidate in the African National Congress (ANC) to take on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the presidential race.
READ MORE: Zuma plans to be mayor of Nkandla
While Ramaphosa has received endorsement from the Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), Dlamini-Zuma has the backing of those deemed as ‘Zuma supporters’, and the ANC Women’s league, who have been vocal about wanting a female president.
Even Zuma himself has put his weight behind Dlamini-Zuma, as he believes that she is more than qualified to lead the country.
Earlier this month, Zuma came to Dlamini-Zuma’s defence when asked whether the AU chairperson had the credentials to qualify for presidency.
“She has held a number of positions. She has been a minister. There is no question at all,” the president said about Dlamini-Zuma.