Malawi helps to secure first woman leader of AU

Malawi on Sunday helped to secure the victory of South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to become the first female head of the African Union (AU) Commission.

The ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma beat incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon after a closely fought contest for the chairmanship of the organisation.

Malawi’s Vice President Khumbo Kachali, representing President Joyce Banda, was seen on jovial mood after the elections results reflecting the strong support Dlamini-Zuma’s candidacy had received from fellow members of the Southern African Development Community(SADC).

Dlamini Zuma: Would have to first move to reconcile with the Francophone bloc which supported rival Ping.

Ping, who had served in the AU post since 2008, was largely supported by French-speaking African states.

In January, neither got the required two-thirds majority, leaving  Ping in office for another six months.

Dlamini-Zuma won the leadership of the AU commission in a third round of voting.

She got 37 votes at the 54-member body, giving her the 60% majority she needed to be elected.

The 63-year-old is currently South Africa’s home affairs minister.

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