“Look at the country today. I am the African National Congress, what is left of the African National Congress. We cannot pretend we do not have problems, we cannot pretend things are not wrong in our country. A lot of things are wrong,” said Madikizela-Mandela, 79, at a press conference in Soweto on Thursday, South African news channel eNCA reported.
Factions have begun to develop in the ANC, with some members of the party calling for President Jacob Zuma—who is also the party leader—to step down. Protesters from different sides of the ANCclashed at the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg earlier in September, with anti-Zuma critics accusing the president’s supporters of threatening them with violence.
Zuma’s presidency has been riddled with scandals. Earlier in 2016, the country’s highest court ruled that Zuma had “failed to uphold the constitution” in relation to state-funded expenditure on improving his homestead in Nkandla, in South Africa’s eastern KwaZulu-Natal province. The president is also fighting the reinstatement of almost 800 corruption charges against him, which were initially dismissed in 2009, and has been accused ofundermining Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has been the subject of a probe by the country’s elite police unit.
Madikizela-Mandela was married to Mandela for 38 years, including during his 27-year imprisonment. The couple divorced in 1996, two years after the abolition of apartheidand Mandela’s election as president. The former first lady played a prominent role in the liberation struggle but was also accused by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission of orchestrating a football club of disaffected youths who were involved in assaults, arson and killings in Soweto in the years before apartheid was ended.