I HAVE watched with interest how our movement and its allies have attended to the issue of electing women to more senior positions. We are going to start the process of nominations this month.
I am aware that it is branches who can keep on electing male comrades but at the same time it's the very same branches who can move a step forward in terms of electing women comrades to more senior position in the ANC. The movement has never had a female secretary-general, deputy president or president.
The time is now for branches really to take a serious shift in mindset and look for capable women, who can take the movement forward, especially in those three positions I have mentioned above. I am convinced there are women who have the capacity to lead.
You will find them among former presidents of the ANC Women's League: Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Angie Motshekga, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. You can add to the list national chairwoman of the movement Baleka Mbete.
The list is endless.
If I were to be asked who do I prefer and for what position, I would go for Mapisa-Nqakula for the deputy president position. I am not saying others cannot carry the task, but for me she can do it.
She has displayed outstanding leadership in government and during her term as Women's League president, but moreover in her tasks as cabinet minister for home affairs and correctional services. She is now the minister of defence and I am convinced she is going to excel even there.
What I thought was the time for the women's league to make this call for the recognition of women was when Dlamini-Zuma was appointed to head the African Union, but I heard nothing, even from gender structures.
All I heard were the messages of support for the move.
South Africa is ready for this.
I am calling on the ANC Women's League, the ANC and the ANC Youth League from branches to provinces really to debate this matter, influence the process and come up with a woman, for a start, as deputy president or as secretary-general. I will also start influencing my branch. I am opening this important debate with the hope it will yield positive results.
I am speaking my mind without being influenced by anyone.
If we allow people to speak their minds, we will find direction or weaknesses or steps that we have missed along the way. The reality is people are watching, but some are afraid to raise issues because they want to be accepted by certain people.
Xola Tyali, serving in the Ward 28 ANC branch, Veeplaas, Port Elizabeth