It is now in the public domain that some people are erroneously viewing the former Africa Union representative from a skewed perspective. It’s wrong to reduce presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to just the Zuma family, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said in Vosloorus on Sunday.

Mantashe was addressing ANC members at an Oliver Tambo Memorial Lecture. He defended the ANC’s decision to deploy Dlamini-Zuma back to Parliament, saying that she was part of the original top 20 of its parliamentary list.

“We are not deploying her because she is a Zuma. We are deploying her because in the original list to Parliament, she was in the top 20. She is back now, when we adapt the list, we have to reverse her back [sic],” he told ANC members.

 Mantashe was responding to questions by a branch member who asked why the ANC was controlled by families in Parliament. He said the ANC does not subscribe to the notion that, “a comrade must be identified through their family”.

“When there were Zumas in the struggle in exile, no one was asking how come there are so many Zumas. When people have an issue, they begin to say it’s a family.”

He said the ANC could not ignore cadres because they are married to another comrade.

“It’s a tendency of reducing comrades into packages of families. It’s wrong. If I’m contributing I must be allowed to contribute.”

He added that Dlamini-Zuma must be utilised if she is contributing positively to the movement.

Dlamini-Zuma is to be sworn in as an MP replacing Pule Mabe, who resigned from Parliament earlier this month.