/ 11 July 2012

Dlamini-Zuma gloves up for new AU title challenge

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The AU's elections in January ended in a stalemate with neither Jean Ping of Gabon, who has held the chair since September 2008, nor Dlamini-Zuma able to garner the required two-thirds majority despite several rounds of voting.

At the time, the AU resolved that Ping, a former Gabonese foreign minister, remain at the helm until new polls were held.

Dlamini-Zuma, who has served as South Africa's foreign minister, would leave on Wednesday to attend the AU summit taking place in Addis Ababa on Sunday and Monday, said her spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa on Monday.

At the summit, the AU would elect a chair, a deputy chair and other commissioners, Mamoepa said in a statement.

The Southern African Development Community has nominated Dlamini-Zuma as the southern region of the AU's candidate for the chair.

"This comes in the context of the view that now is the time for the southern region to be afforded an opportunity to lead the AU commission," he said. The AU has not been led by a candidate from this region before.

Dlamini-Zuma had "both the capacity and the will to help the continent in its endeavours to create a better life for all Africans", Mamoepa said.

The South African delegation to Addis Ababa would be led by President Jacob Zuma, he said. – Sapa