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South African gov't reiterates support for its candidate for AU top post

07-12-2012 01:52 BJT

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CAPE TOWN, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Wednesday reiterated its support for Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's candidature for a top post at the African Union (AU).

This came as Dlamini-Zuma is leaving for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, later in the day to take part in the AU's 19th summit which will decide who will be the next chairperson of the AU Commission.

Dlamini-Zuma is vying for the post with incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon in a contest seen as a face-off between Francophon countries and other African nations.

"The government reiterates its unflinching support, sponsored by SADC (Southern African Development Communtiy), for the candidature of Minister Dlamini-Zuma for the position of the African Union Commission, while expressing its conviction that she possesses both the capacity and the will to help the continent in its endeavors to create a better life for all Africans while taking its rightful place among nations of the world as an equal and partner for sustainable development," the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) said in a statement.

Last week, Dlamini-Zuma called for a leadership change in the organization to raise its efficency, indicating she is ready to take up the post..

South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been druming up support for Dlamini-Zuma.

"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. History has recorded that since its formation, the AU Commission has never been led by a candidate from the Southern Region. This applies equally to the history of its predecessor, the OAU," the DHA said.

"Accordingly, her successful candidature will help communicate a positive message that women, acting jointly with their menfolk, have a meaningful and fundamental role to play in the political and economic renewal of the continent," it added.

The South African government insists the SADC believed that in keeping with the rotational principle, all regions should be given an opportunity to lead the AU Commission.

Since the formation of the Organization of African Union (OAU), the southern and the northern regions have not had an opportunity to lead the AU at the level of chairperson. The OAU is the predecessor of AU.

In January, African leaders shelved the election of the chairperson of the AU commission until July after both Dlamini- Zuma and Jean Ping failed to secure the two-third majority needed to lead the organ.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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