Faizel Patel, July 13, 2012
South Africa is definitely inspiring new ways. Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has been elected the new chair of the African Union Commission. She beat Gabon’s Jean Ping during four rounds of voting that took place in the final day of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa. Dlamini Zuma is the first person to be the chair in the Sadc region in 49 year and is also the first woman to hold the position.
In the first round Dlamini Zuma got 27 votes while Ping managed 24 votes. She got 29 in the second round with Ping garnering 22 votes. In the third round of voting she got 33 votes against Pings 18 and in the fourth and final round, Dlamini Zuma got 37 votes.
At a previous summit in January, delegates failed to decide between Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Ping. Ping has been in the post since 2008.
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on her closely fought election saying, “It means a lot for Africa… for the continent, unity and the empowerment of women – very important.”