SOUTH AFRICAN WINS AFRICAN UNION TOP POST AFTER CLOSE RACE
Dlamini Zuma smiles
By Fungai Maboreke
Global Information Network – South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has been named Chair of the African Union Commission, beating the incumbent, Jean Ping of Gabon, after four voting rounds.
Her appointment has been viewed as a victory not just for Africa, but for women as well.
Dlamini-Zuma won the 60 percent that was required to defeat the incumbent. Accepting the post in Addis Ababa, she said, “I plan to work with all regions for the benefit of our continent and to achieve that goal.”
Voting was split along linguistic lines. Ms Dlamini-Zuma’s victory was seen as a win for the English-speaking nations (Mr. Ping is French-speaking). But the win was marred by charges of bullying by South Africa, which critics accused of twisting arms to win the vote.
She addressed the critics: “South Africa is not going to come to Addis Ababa to run the AU… It is Dlamini-Zuma who is going to come to make a contribution.”
The ex-wife of President Jacob Zuma, Dlamini-Zuma won plaudits for her own governmental work. “She’s a capable and hard-working minister,” said Catherine Grant from the South African Institute of International Affairs. “She’s not in her position because of her relationship to Zuma.”