Uhuru-Spirit News


March 16, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

Former African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma

Former African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, on Wednesday officially returned to South Africa after handing over to the Chadian Dr. Moussa Faki Mahamat at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dlamini-Zuma took over the helm at the AU Commission on 15 October 2012 after defeating the Gabonese Jean Ping in a hard-fought election. Her decision not to go for a second term then helped to pave the way for Moussa Faki Mahamat to be elected on January 30 as the new AU Commission chairperson.

For Dlamini-Zuma, the handover, which took place on Tuesday, was a moment for thanksgiving as she used the opportunity to thank all those that contributed during her tenure.

“AddisAbaba and Ethiopia, have been good to us, and became a second home, thanks to the generosity friendship of the people and government of Ethiopia,” she said.

She also thanked the members of her team, AU organs and regional economic commissions, African heads of state and government, among others.

Dlamini-Zuma had also reminded all that were present that “Africa needs determination, hard-work and focus.”

“We now have the courage to always and everywhere put Africa first, to innovate, and to learn from our successes and our failures,” she added.

She also used the opportunity to call for unity among Africans while wishing the incoming AUC team success as they embarked to continue from where she left off.

“Unity and solidarity is what led to success in our struggles against colonialism and apartheid. We need unity and solidarity, inherited from the early Pan-Africanists, and those who formed the Pan African Women’s Organisation and OAU,” said continued.

Triumphant return to South Africa

When Dlamini-Zuma returned to South Africa on Wednesday, hundreds of South Africans were at hand to welcome her.

Even hours before her return, hundreds of her ardent supporters from the ANC’s women and youth leagues had gathered at Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg where they sang and danced to the revolutionary beats of liberation songs.

And when she finally appeared, her supporters could not hold back their excitement and cheered wildly.

While addressing the gathering, ANCYL president Collen Maine announced that Dlamini-Zuma’s experience accumulated while serving in the AU cannot be for nothing.

“The ANCYL has got big plans for you,” he declared.

The ANC Women's Leagues Meokga Matuba said: “We’re not campaigning; we’re waiting for the right time. Off course, you know our decision as the ANCWL and therefore we’re saying to you mama, welcome home.”

Later on Wednesday, another welcome home event for Dlamini-Zuma was held at the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) offices in Midrand.

What Next for Madam Zuma?

Many analysts have long suggested that Dlamini-Zuma did not seek a second term as the AUC chairperson because of her desire to lead the ANC and South Africa.

It is also a well-known matter that ANC’s women and youth leagues are among those who have endorsed her succeed Jacob Zuma as the ANC president in December this year.

There is no doubt that ANC women are looking more determined than ever to have a woman lead the party for the first time since it was founded in 1912.

So, as Dlamini-Zuma delves back into the now increasingly murky waters of South African politics, if she decides to run in December, she will surely be one of the candidates to beat as her newfound status as a champion of Africa will definitely stand her in good stead.

The truth is that, in spite of her shortcoming in various areas, she has left the African Union better than she met it. Her Agenda 2063 is an unprecedented programme for the unification of Africa. The African passport she introduced will in the near future help to drive the needed debates and discussions about Africa’s decolonisatiion process which was abandoned by our past leaders because of colonialist and neo-colonialist manipulations. And if she one day becomes the president of South Africa, the country stands to benefit immensely from her deep understanding of the continent, its many problems, challenges and opportunities.

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