Dlamini-Zuma's AU post welcomed

2012-07-16 14:39

Johannesburg - Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's election as African Union commission chair is a victory for Africa's women, the ANC Women's League said on Monday.

"This is not a South African victory or even a [Southern African Development Community] victory, but rather a victory for the women of the African continent who have long suffered under the oppression of colonialism, wars, poverty, and patriarchy," the league said in a statement.

Dlamini-Zuma was a long-standing member of the league and had always had a strong focus on women's empowerment and gender equality.

"Her election as the first woman to hold the most powerful position in the AU speaks volumes for the gains made in fighting patriarchy on the African continent," the league said.

It was exciting to see South African women "start coming to the fore and furthering their contribution internationally and serving the African continent".

'The AU is safe in her hands'

The African National Congress said she had distinguished herself in every position in which she had served.

"We believe that in her hands, the AU is safe."

The party thanked the region for endorsing her, and also thanked outgoing chairperson Jean Ping of Gabon.

The South African presidency said it was awaiting an official announcement on the election, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday night.

"The AU is yet to formally announce it. Until then it will be inappropriate to respond," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

Earlier, International Affairs and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Dlamini-Zuma would make sure the AU's resolutions were put into practice.

"What should change [with her election]... is that there will be more accountability, there will be more fast-tracking of implementations of decisions taken by the heads of state," Nkoana-Mashabane told SAfm.

Add much value

"That means, spend more time on implementation of our resolutions instead of just creating more and more [resolutions].

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said she would add much value to the commission as a leader and administrator.

Although it was not yet clear whether she would leave her post as minister in South Africa, Holomisa said it was "a pity to lose a person of Dr Dlamini-Zuma's calibre in our Cabinet at a time when South Africa faces a leadership crisis in many government portfolios".

The African Christian Democratic Party said that as a mother and woman it believed she would end the abuse of women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ANC chief whip also congratulated her.

"While she will be lost to the South African government, which she served in various capacities with excellence and dedication for many years, we draw satisfaction from the fact that she will be assuming a higher calling - serving the entire African continent," Mathole Motshekga said.

Asked whether this meant she would have to vacate her job as home affairs minister, spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said it was understood to be a full-time position but the presidency would have the final say.

Wealth of experience

"We are confident that in Dr Dlamini-Zuma, the continental body indeed has a seasoned diplomat and a hard worker with extensive experience in governance and Pan-African issues.

"We have no doubt that, given her wealth of experience, the AU commission's primary mission of driving African integration and development process in collaboration with AU member states will be better served under her able stewardship."

According to her biography on the Government Communication and Information System, Dlamini-Zuma matriculated at the Amanzimtoti Training College.

She has a Bachelor of Science in zoology and botany from the University of Zululand, a degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Bristol, and a diploma in tropical child health from the School of Tropical Medicine at the University of Liverpool.

Her career before formal politics included being a research scientist with the Medical Research Council, a paediatrics medical officer in Swaziland, and a research technician.

She was health minister from 1994 to 1999 and weathered a scandal over millions being spent on the musical Sarafina II as an anti-HIV/Aids message, as well as her apparent support for a so-called HI-Virus killer called Virodene. She was foreign affairs minister from June 1999 to May 2009.

She has been president of the ministers' council for the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, led a number of peace initiatives to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros, Lesotho, and many others.

She was in a polygamous marriage with President Jacob Zuma until they divorced in the late 1990s.

She is a former chair of the AU executive council of ministers and a former deputy chair of United Nations Aids.

  • julian.booyens - 2012-07-16 14:52

    Ok lets move along folks, nothing new to see here

  • carla.vittori3 - 2012-07-16 14:52

    I love the headline for this article - sounds like even the ANC is happy to get rid of her.

  • busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-07-16 15:12

    It was going to be good if the post was given Mugabe or Malema so that the red necks die of anger n stress

      Squeegee - 2012-07-16 15:13

      No, it would just confirm what they already think of politics on this continent...

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-07-16 15:43

      Hey busi, stop talking about me & mind your own business!

  • steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-07-16 15:15

    Anyone for Beetroot???????

      nomsa.mazwai - 2012-07-16 15:50

      That was Manto, Steve. And yes, I'll have some. Its very good for your health.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-07-16 16:03

      Should've rather asked, anyone for Virodene?????

  • leon.kemp.581 - 2012-07-16 15:18

    Oh my comment....who cares, really!?

  • Bloodstone - 2012-07-16 15:25

    Chairperson of the biggest hot air talk-shop on the continent...big deal!

      nomsa.mazwai - 2012-07-16 15:44

      We should pay more attention to it, demand that it represent our needs and support it 110%. The African Union is our resource as Africans. It is the one body that can legitimately intervene on the continent because its leaders are from the continent and have a regional understanding of challenges we have to face. We have to make sure of this! I make sure by supporting decisions taken by the AU and informing the big old Wild West that 'we got this!'.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-07-16 16:07

      nomsa, is this the same African Union Boss Robert told to f off, & they never looked for trouble with him again?

  • lerato.motshana - 2012-07-16 15:28

    I believe she will do well, she is a hard worker and she did her best in running the home affairs. I am glad she is going to serve the African continent but i am also sad that she is leaving her office. Do Africa proud mama, i know some already think you will fail at your post but i believe in you and your abilities.

  • happy.kwangware - 2012-07-16 15:34

    The major task is to implement the resolutions and policies formulated otherwise it wil b the same Au yestaday 2day and 2morro.remember a commission made from african member states. Haaa haaa it has very limited powers

  • Hermann - 2012-07-16 15:36

    Who cares? It is a useless organisation working in secrecy (closed meetings, in camera) thus they do not represent me as an African.

  • nomsa.mazwai - 2012-07-16 15:39

    This is very good news for the African Union, very good news for the continent. Very good news indeed!

  • thobejane.thabo - 2012-07-17 08:41

    we wish the best for Mrs d zuma for such upgradement i hope jz will learn alot from her cauz she was chosen not bcauz theirs no1 but by her calibar

  • donald.itumeleng - 2012-07-17 09:13

    wow,congratulation to the pillar of african women and africa as a whole.indeed she is a true inspirer whom will continue to show dedication and determination to achieve this concern of women empowerment and gender equallity across africa's borders.wa thintu o mfazi wa thinthiengobondo,forward she goes

      Andre - 2012-07-17 13:41

      Donald pls check your facts Madame Zuma's credentials: Department of Health: If you should have any doubt about the honesty of medical doctor madame zuma, please read: She was also the inventor of the garlic and beetroot hocus-pocus and pushed her witchdoctor’s knowledge into the pockets of her drunken friend Manto. She invited hero Mbeki’s to Sarafina costing the taxpayers +R 14million. She puts this moron’s head full with aids-denial causing hundreds of thousand of aids related deaths. Not chickens but human beings. Department of Foreign affairs: To hide her incompetence, intellectual Mbeki replaced her to foreign affairs where she opened the South African borders for the destitute African refugees, Chinese and other communists around the world bringing the economy of South Africa to its knees. Department of internal affairs: Her last and most detrimental job!!! Removed the little work available for the unskilled South African workers and pushing them into crime to survive while she could play the compassionate Queen for all immigrants, legal and illegal. By now, not only the economy is in shambles but the unskilled workforce in South Africa too. Service into all government departments comes to a stand still, money becomes as scares as chicken teeth and South Africa is on the verge of collapse. Poor Africa.

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