Ping must apologise for ‘abuse’ – SADC

2012-07-13 07:57

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) wants African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Jean Ping to apologise for what it considers to be the abuse of the continental body’s resources.

Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister Phandu Skelemani said the regional body was concerned by the content and tone of a statement released by Ping, which he described as a direct attack on South Africa.

Ping released the statement through the AU communications unit, slamming Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign. This is considered to be an abuse of resources.

Earlier this week, Ping accused South Africa and its media of lying and spreading rumours and innuendo about him.

“It is our considered view that this conduct is in violation of the provisions and spirit of AU statutes,” Skelemani said.

Ping takes on Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma this weekend for another four-year term as AU Commission chairperson.
The SADC, which supports Dlamini-Zuma, is demanding that Ping apologise and retract the statement.

“Ping’s conduct, namely abuse of AU resources, attack on and divulging information of a member state is unprecedented,” Skelemani said.

He said Ping’s statement could bring the AU’s integrity into disrepute.

Ping has thus far ignored interview requests and his scheduled press briefing was cancelled without any explanation yesterday.

Dlamini-Zuma will arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today.

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