EXCLUSIVE: Staying at AU is service to the continent - Dlamini-Zuma

2016-07-18 20:03
AU head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (File)

AU head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (File)

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Kigali - African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has said staying another nine months in her position after elections failed to produce a successor was service to the continent.

Speaking to News24 after the closing of the AU heads of state summit on Monday night, she said: "Of course my term should have ended in October but the way I look at it is that I'd come to serve the continent and if the continent has challenges, and they want me to stay an additional six months, I should do it, and do it with pleasure."

Had a successor been elected on Monday morning, she would have been required to stay until October to facilitate a handover.

A fresh round of elections is set to take place in January, followed by a three-month handover, after which Dlamini-Zuma would return home.

Asked whether staying longer would affect her possible presidential campaign in the ANC, she said, laughing: "No this has got nothing to do with the ANC. The ANC has its own processes."

"And in any case, the [ANC] conference is 2017 December."

Dlamini-Zuma is one of the frontrunners in the ANC's presidential race, set to be decided at the party's electoral conference which is expected to take place around December next year.

Sources close to her said she is keen to return home.

Voting for the position on Monday morning failed to produce a two-thirds majority for any of the three candidates that were up for nomination.

It is believed that up to 28 of the 54 heads of state abstained from voting during the four rounds of voting, which an insider said was a "vote of no confidence" in all the candidates.

Uganda's former vice-president, Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, was the first to be eliminated, meaning she got the least amount of votes. Botswana foreign minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi – officially supported by South Africa – could at most muster 23 votes, still not defeating the number of abstentions.

The foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea, Agapito Mba Mokuy, who was considered to have the strongest campaign behind him with the most money, got 12 votes in the first round, and Kazibwe 11.

Read more on:    au  |  nkosazana dlamini-zuma

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