South African president supports country's bid to lead AU
Cape Town, May 17 (Xinhua-ANI): President Jacob Zuma on Thursday threw his weight behind South Africa's bid to lead the African Union (AU) Commission.
"South Africa has no intention of dominating the continent or to bully any country or structure. We will serve, if elected, as a humble, loyal and disciplined member of the African Union," Zuma said at a business briefing co-hosted by the New Age news paper and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in Mangaungon, central South Africa.
South Africa has fielded Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as a candidate to vie for the chair of the commission.
Zuma reiterated South Africa's position that the nomination is driven by the principle of strengthening the AU and improving its functioning and operations.
"We also believe in the principle of giving all regions of the AU the opportunity to serve the organisation," said the president.
"We all have a responsibility to promote the unity of the African Union so that it can continue its task of serving the peoples of Africa, leading them out of poverty and the legacy of centuries of colonialism and underdevelopment."
Briefing media on Thursday, Cabinet Spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said Dlamini Zuma was "a distinguished and capable candidate with credentials and track record that respond to the task at hand."
The remarks came before the 19th AU Summit scheduled for July in Malawi which is expected to make a final decision.
In January, African leaders shelved the election of the chairperson of the commission until July after both Dlamini Zuma and the incumbent Jean Ping failed to secure the two thirds majority needed to lead the organ.
A meeting on Monday of the AU ad-hoc committee failed to break the impasse on the election.
The AU Commission is the secretariat of the AU entrusted with executive functions. It is composed of 10 officials. (Xinhua-ANI)
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