In a ground breaking first, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, yesterday won a hotly contested vote to become the first female to be elected as the Head of the African Union Commission.
There was three rounds of voting before the incumbent Ping was eliminated and the final vote, in Dlamini-Zuma’s favour, gave her the required 60% majority, that is needed to be elected.
For many, whilst celebrating her election and the broadening of South Africa’s political power base, they will mourn the loss of her leadership in South African politics.It was under the stewardship of Dlamini-Zuma that the Department Of Home Affairs received its first unqualified audit in 15 years. Whilst still facing some severe issues, in particular a ‘black hole’ of permits applications outstanding from 2011, many aspects the Department of Home Affairs performance has improved. The issuing of ID documents, passports and her dedication to eliminating corruption where just some of the achievements her determined efforts brought about.
The office of the ANC Chief Whip was quoted as saying:
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip is pleased with the election of ANC stalwart and Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, to the critical post of the African Union Commission Chairperson. Dr Dlamini-Zuma, who is also one of the movement’s veteran parliamentarians and longest serving cabinet ministers, becomes the first woman to head the Commission.
We are confident that in Dr Dlamini-Zuma, the continental body indeed has a seasoned diplomat and a hard worker with extensive experience in governance and Pan-African issues. We have no doubt that, given her wealth of experience, the AU Commission’s primary mission of driving African integration and development process in collaboration with AU member states will be better served under her able stewardship.
While she will be lost to the South African government, which she served in various capacities with excellence and dedication for many years, we draw satisfaction from the fact that she will be assuming a higher calling – serving the entire African continent.
We commend the African Union states, particularly the SADC region that chose Dr Dlamini- Zuma as its candidate, for demonstrating confidence in her and the people of South Africa.