Presidency lobbies for Dlamini-Zuma

2012-07-13 22:34

Johannesburg - The presidency fired another shot on Friday in support of Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the race for the position of chair of the African Union.

It said this weekend's AU summit in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia - where the election of a new chair is on the agenda - would be watched with keen interest.

This was especially true in view of the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) decision to nominate Dlamini-Zuma for the position.

"[She is a] candidate who has the required skills and competence, to lead the AU commission," the presidency said in a statement.

"The SADC candidate... should be afforded this opportunity to lead the AU commission."

The presidency also issued a reminder that the AU had adopted a policy on gender parity in its commission, and said the post had never been occupied by a woman.

"The African heads of state... would be sending a strong continental signal by appointing a woman of an exceptional calibre at the helm..."

There has been much controversy around the elections.

The French news agency Agence France Presse reported on Friday that SADC had accused sitting AU chief Jean Ping, who is Gabon's foreign minister, of abusing AU resources in his election race.

The SADC was backing Dlamini-Zuma.

Neither Ping nor Dlamini-Zuma won the two-thirds majority needed at the previous summit, despite several rounds of voting, leaving Ping in the post until a new election could be held.

SADC was "alarmed" that Ping had used the AU's website and letterhead to respond to a South African media report which speculated that he was going to withdraw from the race, Botswana's foreign minister Phandu Skelemani said in a statement.

SADC said the candidates' campaigns should be funded from their personal resources and "we are therefore shocked and appalled by the blatant abuse of his office and resources of the AU commission".

Using AU channels to distribute his statement had made his response "an official statement of the African Union", it said.

Ping denied as "outright fallacy and fabrication" a report by the Sunday Times newspaper that he was pulling out of the race to allow Dlamini-Zuma to stand unopposed.

SADC said: "The conduct by the chairperson of the AU, namely abuse of AU resources... is unprecedented, and can bring disrepute to the integrity of the African Union.

"This therefore calls for an apology on his part."

Intense lobbying continued on Friday ahead of the AU summit.

The assembly of the union sits on Sunday and Monday. It was not immediately clear when the chair would be elected.

If no candidate is elected this time around, Ping, who has held the post since 2008, could legally be asked to continue as interim head until the next summit in January 2013.

  • ThaboShakuNews24 - 2012-07-13 23:20

    Something positive for SA. Enough of these ANC shenanigans!1

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-07-14 15:36

      She might just have the know how to fill the "GAP"

  • trevor.roberts.148 - 2012-07-13 23:42

    Wonder if she will advise everyone to eat beetroot to cure AIDS ?.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-14 09:23

      Trevor, Don't confuse our very capable Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma with our previous Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala Msimang. this Health Minister was the one who embarrassed SA with this "beetroot saga" ( she passed away in December 2009 )

  • alf.pop - 2012-07-14 00:20

    Exceptional calibre indeed - weightwatchers will be pleased with that description! A warning to the presidency - you are using state funds to lobby for Dlamini-Zuma!

  • mark.schulz.796 - 2012-07-14 02:55

    Say 'No!' to the concentration of power in the hands of a few. She has a job to do in SA Home Affairs - why add more to her portfolio? The AU deserves a candidate who is dedicated to it in his or her entirety. Conflict of interests, much? If the AU wants to criticize the SA Home Affairs' handling of African refugees and rampant xenophobic practices, it would be logical to assume that SOMEONE would use this position to fight against that kind of motion.

      Walter - 2012-07-14 06:42

      It's a ploy by Zuma to get her out the way. With the ANC elective conference coming up, JZ is strategising and getting people he perceives as a "threat" to his re-election out of the way.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-07-14 12:19

      Agree . All want's this, must have that , will have that, and eventually just another fat cat.Mean while back at the ranch .......

  • gungets.tuft - 2012-07-14 06:30

    Message to everyone - go and read the Daily Maverick article on this fiasco. South Africa has embarrassed itself and us in this affair, by lying and underhand tactics. It is a disgrace and N.e.w.s.2.4 is not telling even 1/2 the story.

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-07-14 08:10

    The government is quick to point out that Dlamini-Zuma has superb administrative and leadership skills needed to run the AU. Case in point is her marvelous turnaround of Home Affairs. Well then, if she goes off the the AU, who is going to run Home Affairs? Is this another example of the ANC breaking what aint broke? Is Home Affairs now going to degenerate to what it was a few years ago? Will Beki Cele or Humphrey Mmemezi be replacing Dlamini-Zuma? Come on guys - your first priority should be your own people who put you into power and pay your salaries. The AU, Brics, Security Council, etc should be secondary concerns.

  • Michael - 2012-07-14 08:14

    Lobby away ANC, if it means getting rid of this overstuffed parody of a politician. It's time the rest of Africa shares our pain.

  • Frank - 2012-07-14 08:44

    Keep these idiots out of African politics. They are an embarrasment to us.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-07-14 08:50

    Whats in it for the Zuma Clan> JZ would'nt push so hard if he could'nt reap something out of this. Sorry, my feeling is put 5c on the table and up will pop a zuma.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-07-14 09:10

      Good way for clan Zuma to get their hands on AU tenders, contracts and money. Clearly the AU does not know how Team Zuma operates.

  • Vince.York - 2012-07-14 09:31

    Oh Lord! The amounts of our tax payers money wasted in bribes to get the SA Soccer Worldcup white elephant stadiums will be a drop in the ocean as to what is being transported around in zuma black bags of used notes this round for a tad of coercion and persuasion.

  • pmalungana - 2012-07-14 10:01

    I hope this time around the AU will be influencial in world politics. We hardly know what its achievements are in Africa, especially its role in the development of African economies. Under Ping the AU is a lame dog. But I personally would support the appointment of the former President mbeki to lead the AU, given his keen interests in African affairs. but hey his name never came up at SADC, which is said. Im sure Zuma will do the good job lets give her a chance this time around

  • mango.karim - 2012-07-14 11:23

    Dlamini-Zuma does not understand the role of AU, ANC it is nt a Pan Africanist in Nature....they know nothing Uniting Africa, they are dividers of Africans. \r\n\r\nThese people voted with Amerika for the killing of Gadaffi!\r\n\r\n“Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation” Dlamini-Zuma and ANC does not understand anything......Puppets \West Street\ is in control over them.

  • phillys.winterbottom - 2012-07-14 11:41

    hopefully if she gets the new position, they can wangle her a dental plan as part of her package?

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