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South African President Jacob Zuma has endorsed his ex-wife and former AU chair Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as the next leader of the African National Congress.
The ANC is expected to pick a new leader in December and the winner will likely become South Africa’s next president when elections are held in 2019.
Dlamini-Zuma has also been publicly endorsed by the ANC Women’s League although the presidential campaign has not officially started.
Dlamini Zuma’s term as AU Commissioner ended in February.
In her final speech as Chair of the African Union Commission she promised to continue her work on the continent by remaining a soldier for the African course.
President Jacob Zuma has repeatedly been accused of corruption and his ties to a family of local tycoons has been brought under scrutiny.
His decision to endorse the ex-wife has been criticised by some opposition members who see in Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma a “preferred candidate” capable of shielding the ex-husband from looming graft charges after he is out of office.