Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was yesterday, 15 July 2012, elected as the incoming Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.
“Our people should take pride that the Heads of State and Government of the AU have elected DrNkosazana Dlamini Zuma to the position of the AU Commission Chairperson. With this appointment, Dr Dlamini Zuma, who has served our country with distinction, becomes the servant of the Continent and accountable to the AU,” President Jacob Zuma said.
Dr Dlamini Zuma received 37 of the 51 votes from member-states of the AU at the continental body’s 19th Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 15 to 16 July 2012. In terms of electoral rules for AU commissioners, a candidate requires two-thirds of the votes to be elected.
Dr Dlamini Zuma was nominated by the Southern Africa region to stand for the position. This is the first time that the region is represented at the level of Chairperson of the Commission. It is also the first time that this position is held by a woman.
The AU Summit is scheduled to make an official announcement of the outcomes of the election and pronounce Dr Dlamini Zuma as the new Chairperson of the AU Commission.
President Zuma said he was humbled by the confidence that Africa has showed in the Southern Africa candidate. “I would like to thank all SADC member-states as well as the entire leadership of the AU for all their hard work and ensuring a successful election,” said President Zuma.
The appointment of Dr Dlamini Zuma will build on the work done by her predecessors, including Dr Jean Ping, and ensure a more efficient and effective AU Commission, particularly on the implementation of decisions pertaining to unity, peace, stability, development and the upliftment of women and children.
“As South Africa, we will make the necessary adjustment to enable Dr Dlamini Zuma to commence her new duties as soon as possible”, said President Zuma.