This is according to former Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale in an exclusive interview with Sunday World this week.
"Cde Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is one of the tried and tested leaders of the movement with uncontested credentials. She joined the struggle and bravely fought against apartheid when it was not fashionable to do so. Under the democratic government, she executed every task with distinctions. She achieved clean audits when she was the Minister of Home Affairs," he says.
Mathale also said Dlamini-Zuma was an objective and anti-factional politician who will unite the party with ease.
"Given her objective tools of analysis, she was tasked to investigate complaints around the 2011 local government elections ANC candidates lists. Her findings and all recommendations were accepted and implemented without any exception," he said.
Mathale also said that Dlamini-Zuma was well grounded and more experienced than UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
"She is much more senior than the two and she must be judged by her credentials," Mathale added.
Mathale's views fly in the face of many Limpopo ANC executive members who believe that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should, as dictated by the popular and entrenched tradition, ascend to be the party president.
"If you read the history of the ANC presidential elections from 1912, there is no tradition in the ANC which says that the Deputy President must automatically become the party president. Every situation is based on its own merits.
She's a tried, tested leader
"But I think we should now focus on delivering a decisive victory for the ANC in the local government election and then perhaps take this forward," Mathale says.
His startling pronouncement comes after deputy provincial secretary Makoma Makhurupetje broke ranks with his political principals in Limpopo, who are apparently canvassing for Ramaphosa.
Although they were political rivals, the two were likely to team up with the so-called Premier League which comprises premiers David Mabuza (Mpumalanga), Supra Mahumapelo (North West) and Ace Magashule (Free State) to push Dlamini Zuma's presidential campaign.
ANC provincial spokeswoman Khumbudzo Ntshavheni declined to comment.
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