Maybe next time: Dlamini-Zuma to try for AU chair in June

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will run again for the position of African Union Commission chair at the next AU Summit in June, according to the international relations minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Earlier, Dlamini-Zuma faced off with incumbent Jean Ping for Africa’s top job but both candidates failed to secure two-thirds majority of the votes in accordance with the AU rules and regulations.

Ping is no longer eligible for re-election and this paves a way for Dlamini-Zuma to give it another shot and lobby even harder ahead of the next summit.

“The message that is very clear, if you check the rule book, is that the incumbent shall vacate and the deputy chair will act until the next election. So nothing stops us from fielding the same candidate because she has shown or proven to be a formidable candidate that the incumbent could not defeat,” said Nkoana-Mashabane, in a statement.

However, sources insisted that South Africa will again back Dlamini-Zuma and will lobby the Southern African Development Community.

The elections for the position of new AU Commission chair will now be held at Malawi’s capital Lilongwe in June.

International relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela told the Mail & Guardian that the huge number of African countries that voted for Dlamini-Zuma during the three rounds of elections on Monday showed she stood a very good chance of being elected to the hot seat in June.

“From our point of view this is a victory for SADC countries in general and South Africa in particular because we have another opportunity to go at the position at the next AU summit in June,” said Monyela.

Ahead of the election, Dlamini-Zuma’s backers were worried that Francophone countries might be influenced by the French to vote for Ping and snub South Africa, Africa’s biggest economy.

But a South African diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ping’s failure to secure the required two-thirds majority was a clear sign that Africans rejected to be represented by him.

“It was a vote of no-confidence in his [Ping] leadership. African countries were clearly unhappy with an AU that was ran from Paris. This provides us an opportunity to elect someone from a country which does not have neo-colonial hang-ups,” according to the diplomat who attended AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The AU Commission deputy chair, Erastus Mwencha from Kenya, will serve as the executive council’s chair until a fresh poll is held.

An actual Black Friday deal

Subscribe for R2/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Charles Molele
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

‘Explosive’ jobs crisis imperils South Africa

Experts’ strategies for fixing the unemployment crisis range from devaluing the rand to a universal income grant or accepting debt from loans

South Africa’s newest national park will be in an agricultural...

People living on communal land and commercial farmers can incorporate their land into the new park and benefit from financial incentives

Shell’s Wild Coast exploration draws mounting public ire

Shell SA chair surprised by the scale of opposition to its planned 3D seismic survey

PODCAST: How South Africa fits into the global economy

Michael Power chats to the M&G editor-in-chief and business journalists about South Africa and its place in the global economy.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×