Congratulations for Dlamini-Zuma

2012-07-16 07:53

Addis Ababa - President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on her closely fought election as the new head of the African Union Commission, the first woman to hold the post.

"It means a lot for Africa... for the continent, unity and the empowerment of women - very important," Zuma said.

Dlamini-Zuma's win at the AU summit follows her challenge six months ago to unseat the incumbent, Jean Ping of Gabon, the former commission chairperson, which ended in deadlock after neither won the required two-thirds of the vote, leaving Ping in the post.

"Now we have the African Union chair Madame Zuma, who will preside over the destiny of this institution," Benin's president and current AU chairperson Thomas Boni Yayi said.

Freedom fighter

Dlamini-Zuma, 63, an experienced diplomat, is a veteran of the fight against apartheid. A doctor by training, she has served as health, home and foreign minister.

"She's a freedom fighter, not a bureaucrat or a diplomat," said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, beaming enthusiastically.

Noureddine Mezni, spokesperson for the outgoing chairperson, told AFP that Ping had acknowledged defeat.

He "has accepted the results of the elections and wishes Madame Dlamini-Zuma the very best.

"He expressed his readiness to co-operate with her to work together for the unity of the continent."

Erastus Mwencha of Kenya was re-elected as deputy chair of the AU Commission, he added.

Members of the South African delegation smiled and congratulated one another as they filed out of the conference hall.

"It's good for southern Africa. We (in southern Africa) never had this job," a delegate from Zimbabwe told AFP with a broad grin.

Officials said the elections went to four rounds of voting before Dlamini-Zuma won 37 votes, three more than the required majority, to confirm her win over Ping.

Jakkie Cilliers of the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies told AFP how Dlamini-Zuma's score had crept up from one round of voting to the next.

"She got ahead in the first round and after that the momentum kicked in," said Cilliers. "The heads of state wanted a decision."


Dlamini-Zuma's win had brought "clarity as to who's in charge" at the AU, after six months of deadlock over the leadership issue, he added.

Some analysts say South Africa has violated an unwritten tradition that continental powerhouses do not run candidates for the post, but leave smaller nations to take the job.

Before the vote however, Dlamini-Zuma played down concerns that the vote could divide the AU.

"I don't think the continent will be polarised," she said.

The winner would "make sure they work with everybody, irrespective of where and who they voted for," she added.

Cilliers said he was optimistic that divisions created by the vote would heal.

"She'll be an inclusive chair, she won't be divisive ... She was a very competent foreign minister and even better at home affairs," he said.

On Monday the heads of state will wrap up their two-day meeting.


Earlier in the day, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo agreed to an international force to neutralise rebels in eastern DRC, as the African Union said it was ready to send peacekeepers there.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame told AFP both sides had agreed "in principle" to accept the force.

He was speaking after his first face-to-face meeting with DRC President Joseph Kabila since a UN report in June accused Rwanda of supporting Congolese rebels. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the AU summit.

Rwandan and DRC leaders will meet again in early August to try to thrash out the details of the force - including size, mandate, nationality and deployment details - for eastern DRC.

UN peacekeepers already operate in the region. UN deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson called for an immediate end to the violence, warning that "countries of the region ought to respect the principle of non-interference".

AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said that changing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission there "was one scenario".

  • musamuskid - 2012-07-16 08:04

    Congratulations to the new Prime minister of Africa... pity Brother Gaddaffi is no longer with us

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 08:23

      Yawn....Looking forward to the cricket on Thursday. Hope it does'nt rain. Meanwhile back in SA president Zuma says......

      werner.dippenaar.77 - 2012-07-16 08:29

      rob - i find it quite amusing that some folks still think South Africa will benefit from her appointment

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 09:05

      @Poly. SAPS fall under the ANC if I am not mistaken, as does the SADF. THAT is why Zille had to request SADF intervention, a request that fell on " deaf ears " as it suits the ruling party to have discord in the WC. So one can clearly see Zille has her hands tied on dealing with that issue.

      itumeleng.mogaki - 2012-07-16 09:22

      So much hate, any way moving right along, Congrats Ms Dlamini-Zuma, we (well some of us) are proud of you. Your work (minus Head of Health) speaks volumes.

  • kathleen.whiteley.7 - 2012-07-16 08:09

    An honour for Nkosazana and the country.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-07-16 09:02

      AU is useless they lick the west's asss.

  • Bellmtellz - 2012-07-16 08:18

    Congratulation Mama Dlamini.....For Africa

  • lucky.mabele - 2012-07-16 08:19

    congradulation Madam Chief

  • mlungisi.botha - 2012-07-16 08:22

    We're proud of you ma'am!

  • werner.dippenaar.77 - 2012-07-16 08:24

    Now Africa is a full blown circus. Wonder what was the election criteria and how many acres of South African shoreline she promised for her position.

  • boyisile - 2012-07-16 08:26

    Cnongradulations to our own madame Dlamini-Zuma. I know she will do her best. Her first task will be to change AU from being a toothless bulldog to a respected body. I wonder who will now takeover frm her as minister of DHA. She was doing a very good job there.

  • Jaun - 2012-07-16 08:26

    Best of luck madam Zuma!!

  • dave.ueckermann - 2012-07-16 08:32

    Finally a decent hard working Minister and she now leaves. What happens to her position in Parliment, does she resign? Who will now take her place and undo all the good that She has done the last 2 yrs?

      SA_Spinner - 2012-07-16 12:54

      You think she was a hard worker and did her job well. Please don't make me laugh, there's no way in hell she turned home affairs around the way the government said she did! I bet the next minister is going to be overwhelmed with finding out all the sweeping under the rug all the corruption and mismanagement that's going on there

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-07-16 08:34

    we maDlamini uphi umqombothi we maDlamini uphi umqombothi Ululating

  • Andre - 2012-07-16 08:34

    What's the big deal? Tell me ONE worthwhile success of the AU since it's existence to better the lives of people on the continent. It's an incredibly expensive Talk Shop with no influence. Get rid of it!

      Revelgen - 2012-07-16 09:50

      Totally agree, Andre. I cannot think of a single useful thing the AU has ever done except temporarily improve the economy of the city where it meets with all the 5-star accommodation and JW Blacks bought.

      werner.dippenaar.77 - 2012-07-16 12:10

      Andre but then they have to get real jobs, we cannot expect them to work, they are special

  • Diran - 2012-07-16 08:43

    Congrates Madam Chief

  • moiketsi.tumisi - 2012-07-16 08:43

    Congrats to MADAME Zuma on her new post,it shows that she's got thee capabilities to drive the AU.

  • brand0nbradley - 2012-07-16 08:45

    Africa is now more divided than ever before. Politics was the real winner here. Not us. Bravo cadre politics, bravo.

  • helmut.smrz - 2012-07-16 08:48

    Good on here,beingt he court jester

  • greg.quinn.353 - 2012-07-16 08:49

    Another step towards a New World Order. Soon the African Union will have its own currency like the European Union.. and so on.

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 08:53

      They already have their own currency. It's called the " handout. "

      raath - 2012-07-16 10:12

      Heaven help us. The new currency will be called the Afro. It will be teased by the other currencies, and will be over inflated, just like a fro.

  • jan.vanriebeeck.73 - 2012-07-16 08:50

    Lets all just remember that is was Dlamini-Zuma who said: "the whites are all a bunch of whiners and it's time for all of them to disappear" So she is a racist that want's to get rid of whites, it's crazy the "caliber" of people who gets elevated to power positions on this dark continent.

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 08:58

      Probably one of the reasons she was voted in !

      Synomore - 2012-07-16 09:37

      Thank God i was born in the dark continent no regret unlike those who were born in wrong continent its not your fault but God's will getover it you'll be strong

      Revelgen - 2012-07-16 09:54

      Dear Duma, stop and THINK a moment. If you didn't have Whites in SA, you would not have had roads, electricity, sanitation, railways, a banking system - even the Internet you are now able to use. That's the truth mate. So stop whining, and appreciate your blessings instead of saying stupid things. If the Whites left today, this copuntry would collapse. There would be 95% unemployment for a start. I don't care if you don't like the truth; it IS the truth.

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 09:56

      @ Doma. How did you get that job @ Nedbank ? Be honest now !

      ingi.raikes - 2012-07-17 08:32

      The truth hurts! I see my comments x 2 yesterday have been deleted! Anyway, Revelgen has said almost exactly what l think so, you see, l'm not the only one thinking along those lines! I rest my care.

  • kholo.mashoene - 2012-07-16 08:55

    Congratulations Madam Dlamini-Zuma,we are very proud of you.

  • malusi.shumane.7 - 2012-07-16 09:02

    Oh, Zille is the only one capable of leading?

      rob.baggaley - 2012-07-16 09:11

      It appears so.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-07-16 11:22

      You mean by making the rich richer?

  • victor.windsor - 2012-07-16 09:13

    watch this space !!!!!!

  • Shaun Robinson - 2012-07-16 09:14

    Now she can combat smoking across the whole of Africa... Hahaha, well in Madam...

  • jeremyl.dilikisa - 2012-07-16 09:16

    Congrats madame chief for ur new post do us proud and show them dat SADC is capable including ZIMBABWE

  • Johnny - 2012-07-16 09:19

    she could not run Health nor Home Affairs and now the AU. Two Zuma's in command ???? What next

      boyisile - 2012-07-16 09:28

      Be realistic Johnny, Home Affairs was a mess before Dlamini-Zuma was appointed in that dept. She turned it around in a very short period. When was the last time you were at home affairs? maybe you must make a turn there. She is the best minister ever to run Home Affairs. Give credit where credit is due. I will not mind if she can be our next President.

      thulani.sparks - 2012-07-16 09:53

      Clearly Johnny u haven't been to the Home Affairs ever...your comment is shallow my man...go take a swim in the Indian ocean..

      Synomore - 2012-07-16 10:15

      Unfortunately a hater will find a fault in everything its unfortunate too that there is no cure for hate

  • simon.butelezi - 2012-07-16 09:44

    good news, the French are slowly losing power in Africa. Those who divided us are no longer. *clapping hands*....... At least there will be peace in Africa as those that took away mineral resources and, armed rebels with weapons will no longer have a place in Africa. Viva Africa, mayibuye iAfrica!

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-07-16 09:48

    I am so proud of this woman, there is no place for my chest to expand to !! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeze, who cares ? We really are not the flavour of Africa any more.Our politicians think we are world leaders.Hehehehehe!! What will she mean for South Africa......ziltch.A couple of extra trips in a fancy jet/fancy hotels/her actual job in SA forgotten. Its only an ego trip which never lasts. And then to get the ticket because she is a woman pleeeeeeeeze, save me.

  • sugan.munsamy.5 - 2012-07-16 09:54

    She offered no value as Minister of Health and Home Affairs and the same will apply here. Her position is all about power and little will be done to improve the conditions in Africa. She failed us as a minister and watch her flop this one as well.

  • mello.thebehali - 2012-07-16 09:57

    Congrats mama. Well deserved.

  • johnnie.vercuil - 2012-07-16 09:59

    Let us hope she does a better job where she is now, and not the same kind of nonsense she did with the other jobs she had in South Africa. After all the years since she left the health department,this countrie's health system is still putrid.

  • khanyi.khanyisile.92 - 2012-07-16 10:02

    Congratulation Mama! May God grant you wisdom to lead Africa into new level despensation.

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-07-16 10:12

    Good for her, wish her all the best. Just don't understand the role of the AU and how her new position gonna improve the lives of S Africans and the rest of Africa? She gonna get rid of Mugabe, stop the killings in the DRC, end poverty across Africa and get rid of greedy governments?????

      johnnie.vercuil - 2012-07-16 11:02

      She is not there to help any governments , she is there only to help Jacob Zuma. Getting her there cost the South African taxpayers millions of Rands.

      gpitse - 2012-07-16 13:23

      Did her predecessor do that? Oh please be realistic !

      vivian.harris.73 - 2012-07-16 15:47 what she gonna do in the AU then? Is it just another post where its all talk and no action? Please inform me cause I have no idea what the AU is for since its inception. I have yet to see how the AU benefits all the people of Africa.

  • jonathan.mandaza - 2012-07-16 10:41

    Well done SADC

  • gpitse - 2012-07-16 12:08

    Everything for you guys is a race card, shame on you , your whining wont change her AU position,period. Congrats Madame Zuma !!!!!

  • suleman.steele.1 - 2012-07-16 12:09

    Not really sure what Zille has to do with this,somehow race is always brought up on News24 but idiots do it subliminally. Congratulations to the first woman to hold the Commission Head of the AU,a huge step forward for women of Africa,regardless of race.

  • solomon.matli - 2012-07-16 15:10

    This is a good 94th birthday present for our Madiba

  • Masiphakame - 2012-07-17 23:01

    congratulation dr zuma wathinta bafazi uzakufa

  • hortensia.cummings - 2012-10-22 22:44

    Erm... Nkosozana, now that you have an independent position, perhaps you can spill the beans and bring the house of cards crashing down on the corrupt factions within the ANC. From 1994 until now as a Minister within the South African government. Oh, the things that you can tell. The ANC that will emerge will be the better for it.

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