OUR CAMPAIGNS 2012:
» Towards… AN AU FREE FROM FOREIGN INTERFERENCE…
Min. Dlamini-Zuma for the Chairperson of the African Union Commission!
AU Summit, June 23-30, 2012 in Lilongwe, Malawi.
We of the Pan-Africanist International welcome the news that the South African Home Affairs Minister, Dr. 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.
Dlamini-Zuma, 62, has served in the cabinet of every South African president since Nelson Mandela, who named her health minister after taking office as the country’s first black leader in 1994.
A doctor by training, she served as foreign minister for a decade under Mandela’s successors Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, and her ex-husband, current President Jacob Zuma, found her indispensable enough to name her home affairs minister — the post she now holds. She was credited with cleaning up the problematic department, so much so that under her tenure it earned its first clean audit since the advent of democracy in the country in 1994.
No woman has held the post of chair of the Commission of the African Union. Dlamini-Zuma, served as minister of foreign affairs between 1999 and 2009.
She is also credited for working hard to put forward South Africa’s candidature for a seat on the United Nations Security Council and for her efforts in “peace-building” on the African continent.
During her days at the then department of foreign affairs, Dlamini-Zuma commissioned a study to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the root causes of conflict in Africa.
The study found that among the triggers of conflicts was electoral fraud, ethnicity, state resources, vested interests by foreign actors and the cavalier construction of colonial borders at the end of the 19th century.
She is widely seen as having effected a turnaround in the hitherto chaotic department of home affairs over the past two years, tackling the corruption and mismanagement that have plagued it.
There were numerous obstacles, which we will have to deal with in the six months ahead. 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.
The United States meanwhile denied a report that Washington, along with Paris, were actively opposing Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy against Gabonese Ping’s bid for a second term.
“The United States considers the selection of leadership for the Commission of the African Union to be an issue that is entirely for African states to decide,” the US embassy said in response to Friday’s report in the Mail & Guardian.
“Contrary to speculation, the United States has no preferred candidate, and we have consistently maintained neutrality on possible candidates for the chair.”
Nigeria has also been cited by South African diplomats as a major obstacle to the bid. Relations between the two countries have been in a funk for some time, but it deepened over South Africa’s backing of former president Laurent Gbagbo during the battle for control of Côte d’Ivoire.
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.
“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 elections for the position of new AU Commission chair will now be held at Malawi’s capital Lilongwe in June. This is where we need all hands on deck to make this a resounding success!
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