Nokuzola Gladys Sisisi Tolashe has taken over the helm as the ANC Womens League leader.
Tolashe is also Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People Living with Disabilities.
Tolashe rose to national political prominence as the secretary-general of the ANCWL under its then president Angie Motshekga.
She managed to do the inevitable this past weekend when she beat former minister Bathabile Dlamini by a huge margin.
Many people had predicted a won for Dlamini who is more influential than Tolashe.
She entered politics through youth organisations in the anti-apartheid movement and served in civic organisations under the United Democratic Front.
In the 1980s, she was detained without trial for five years.
Tolashe was a member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature from 2001 to 2008. She was secretary-general from July 2008 until she was ousted in August 2015 and served as a backbencher in the National Assembly from 2016 to 2018.
Then, she was mayor of the Eastern Cape’s Enoch Mgijima local municipality from 2018 to 2019.
She returned to the National Assembly in the 2019 general elections and became deputy minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities this March after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle.
Political analyst Goodenough Mashego said: “Coming into 2024 the ANC needs to reach out to women and have a conversation with them.
“We need to see them fight patriarchy in all its manifestations instead of obsessing with positions inside government.”
Due to time constraints, the conference did not conclude its business and will reconvene at a later stage.
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