NewsOpinionPoliticsState Capture

Dlamini-Zuma is feared, not for being Ex-Wife, but her victories against powerful Tobacco & Pharma Industries

By Pinky Khoabane


The media campaign describing Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as nothing else but her husband’s ex-wife dates back years and its intentions are bearing fruit among the chattering classes. The narrative – not another Zuma in the presidency – has taken hold and little justification has been made to back the claims.

Once she was touted as a possible presidential candidate, she ceased to have credentials of her own with the media intent on linking her to her “embattled ex-husband” and to project her as someone who will protect him from his legal woes if she were to be president.

Dlamini-Zuma’s political career remains largely untainted by scandal and her achievements are by virtue of her own hard work and not her link to the President. Her political activism, career and achievements are contained in a link below.

On her return from exile in 1990 when the ANC and other liberation movements were unbanned, she played a crucial role in building the ANC and its structures including the Women’s League. She was appointed minister of health in 1994, a position she held for five years. She brought unprecedented progressive legislation which saw the poor gain access to healthcare they had previously not had.

But it is her fight against the powerful tobacco and pharmaceutical industries that stands as a reminder that she is not a friend of capitalists and is above manipulation.

Under her leadership, South Africa waged a fierce war against the tobacco industry and won. She initially pioneered legislation banning sports sponsorship which made way for the legislation banning smoking in public areas. She further locked horns with the pharmaceutical industry in demand for accessible and affordable medicines including HIV/AIDS treatment for the poor.

The pharmaceutical companies eventually backed down and withdrew their case against the South African government.

In a series of news articles, Dlamini-Zuma has been referred to as simply “President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife”. The structure of the articles about her have become very predictable. The first paragraph of the article will refer to the issue at hand but then the story swiftly turns to the scandals surrounding “her ex-husband”. Once all the woes have been listed, attention is given to her career albeit very minimal, their marriage and break-up but more importantly the stories must alert the reader to their cordial relationship despite the divorce. “They remain friends,” the line always goes before going into his intentions to ensure her ascendancy to the presidency.

Their relationship and history has been used to concoct an entire story about how Zuma will use his influence to ensure she gets the presidential job. It is alleged he will use what has now been dubbed the “Premier League”, comprising of Premiers Age Magashule (Free State), David Mabuza (Mpumalanga) and Supra Mahumapelo (North West). To date, evidence to this effect has not been forthcoming.

While women with family links to political leaders are fiercely scrutinised when they make a move for high-ranking political positions, there are more men than women who have ascended to political positions through links.

ANC Women’s League endorsement of Dlamini Zuma

The ANCWL at the weekend endorsed Dlamini Zuma for president of the ANC in what it described as its pursuit for the election of a first woman president.

In a statement released at the weekend, it said it was satisfied that Cde Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma not only meets, but is an embodiment of leadership as espoused by “Through the eye of a needle” in reference to the ANC’s seminal document on choosing the best candidates to lead transformation.

Here’s the full statement on why ANCWL endorsed Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for President of the ANC–ancwl




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  1. Not the sharpest today are you pinky – TAC, even my 12 year old knows who Zackie is, agree with John – you are not very well informed.

    1. Thanks Marty. At least you concede Im sharp on most days. Sadly the same cant be said about you.


      Pinky Khoabane

  2. Dear PK

    Thank you for your response..

    I think you have missed my point.

    The TAC is the Treatment Action Campaign started by Zackie Achmat.

    I think a lady president is a very desirable outcome. The country.needs a leader that subscribes to and lives by the Eye of the Needle guidelines. If Dr. Dlamini-Zuma is actually such a person then strength to her.

    HIV AIDS and your imagination of my stance on the subject, is for debate at a more appropriate time.



  3. Fake News alert.

    “Dlamini-Zuma’s political career remains largely untainted by scandal”. Sarafina 2 and Virodene?

    The use of the word “largely” is similar to “alleged”. Please PK don’t fall into the same category as the reporters you covered in a recent article on Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

    Pharmceutical Companies dropped their case in 2001. I remember that this was on Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s watch. I am sure that the TAC and International pressure had a lot to do with the dropping of the case. Unfortunately the link given in your article cannot be found by my browser. So I cannot confirm your assessment of Dlamini-Zuma’s impact. As a member of the cabinet at that time, short of consulting Hansard, I can not find a record of her stance relating to the HIV-Aids debacle.

    I do however appreciate her battles and victories against the Tobacco Companies.


    1. The only issues that have ever been brought against Nkosazana Zuma are the Sarafina Play and Virodene. Would you say the word largely doesnt apply?

      John, dont even act as if you dont know the politicisation and commercial value of AIDS. If you dont, then you need to spend more time reading about it.

      Who are the Scientific community, who funds them and what is their agenda? Who is TAC and what is their agenda?

      Today we sit with an Aids epidemic with the most shocking stats. Newspaper headlines have said how the war is won. It isnt. More people around the world are being infected. The approach is to simply administer treatment and make loads of money for pharmaceuticals. I will actually spend time and retrieve my articles on how the Aids virus is simply a pharmaceutical money maker. It was despicable to hear at the last conference held here, that everyone who is HIV+ irrespective of their CD4Count now had to be on ARVs. Who is making the money from all that poison to which people are now being subjected? All the efforts of your so-called scientific community have left the youngest women in SA infected with Aids. They are sold the dream that you can live longer no matter your sexual behaviour.

      You and the Scientific world didnt recognise that perhaps through drama, the young girls would appreciate their lives and not risk dying as a result of having sex without a condom.

      As we say, love her, despise her but please dont point to two issues which can easily be countered from a different viewpoint as why, she perhaps, needs to be called an EX.

      By the way, please stop being like those many neo-liberal thinkers for which we started this platform – just as a way of running away from. You have so many platforms to vent your views.



    2. Some people like myself are not even aware that even some universities (Harvard, Yale, etc.) are the tools of dirty agenda (i.e. information & mind control), do not get me wrong John, I am not saying that education is bad, but what I am saying is that there is more to the Westernised Education than meets the eye. In the first place very few people (myself incl. perhaps) are aware that universities have their origins in Kemet (Egypt) a province of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Ours is to work hard and Africanise our education system (both Basic & Higher). In fact education becomes poison if it does nothing to enlighten and develop a person, kuyingozi ukwakha i-“fake” yesizwe esilingisa abaMhlophe, abantu obathola belibele wukurhubuluza amakhofi & whiskey, bekhuluma isiNgisi (devil language) becinanise amakhala (e.g. Thuli Madonsela, most court of law Judges, etc.). Once a Black person rely on Western thought to analyse, and base their arguments – “CAPTURED”!!!

      Well, NGOs (Helen Suzman Foundation, Freedom Under Law, TAC, USAid, Save South Africa, etc.) are being funded by capitalists. They are actually criminal organisations, making poverty pornography with our people and pretending to be helping while they actually help facilitate the capital flight from the continent. Africa is a net creditor to the world, yet we are poor because of things like the pseudo-help industry of NGOs.

  4. Nothing good has come out from RupertsJanVanRiebeecksVerwoerdsInc. except patriarchy among other hundreds of societal ills. Only fools & ignoramuses like “them” who believe that women cannot achieve anything without being lineally related by blood or by matrimony or otherwise to great men (males). This is worst kind of insult against women ever invented by white power. What about: Harriet Tubman, Wangari Maathai, Baleka Mbete, Caster Semenya, Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo, Maria Mutola, etc. etc. etc.

  5. Nkosazana Zuma is a Nkosazana for SA she is strong unshakable and deserve to lead the country cowards will always put you down walk tall Nkosazana as you alwaye do

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