Thuthukile Zuma, the daughter of President Jacob Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has been reportedly accused of “stealing” an ANC Youth League (ANCYL) branch to ensure her mother is nominated as the next president of the ruling party.
News24 reported on Wednesday that Thuthukile allegedly hired bouncers to stop some ANCYL members from participating in a meeting by the Bheki Mkhize branch in Northcliff, Johannesburg, to elect new leaders.
It is claimed Thuthukile – the youngest of Jacob Zuma’s daughters with Dlamini-Zuma – was elected as the secretary of the branch last week Thursday evening at a five-star hotel in Randpark Ridge after chaos broke out at the Windsor Recreation Centre, where the voting was due to take place.
Thuthukile, according to the report, was previously the chairperson of the branch, but the position of secretary is said to be more influential.
“She stole the branch. Thuthu has been trying to get her hands on that branch, and she finally did it,” one ANCYL insider who did not want to be named told News24.
Another league member at the centre said: “We know she is being positioned in order to facilitate a pronouncement for her mom as the next ANC president from both the region and the province.”
The news website approached Thuthukile for comment, but she referred questions on her election to the ANCYL’s regional convener, Mangaliso Khonza, who rubbished claims Zuma’s daughter “stole” the branch. He apparently blamed the chaos on a “rent-a-crowd” brought in to disturb the branch election proceedings.
The Bheki Mkhize branch scandal has once more raised questions about claims made by several ANC leaders regarding its democratic processes. Major challenges faced by the party ahead of its elective conference later this year in December, such as corruption, buying of delegates and gatekeeping, are contentious issues within the ANC.