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Dlamini-Zuma applauded for AU appointment

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the first woman and the first Southern African official to occupy the position.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the first woman and the first southern African official to occupy the position.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has added his voice to the chorus of well-wishers after Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was elected as African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson.

She beat Gabon's Jean Ping, who had been at the helm for the past four years, when she was elected on Sunday evening.

She is the first woman and the first Southern African official to occupy the position since the AU was founded 49 years ago.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Dlamini-Zuma's victory was good news for the continent.

"However things may have been perceived in the past, it is important to realise that while Dlamini-Zuma was a candidate put forward by the Southern African region, she is not a representative of the region."

The ANC Women's League said her election will go a long way in promoting gender equality in Africa.

The League's Troy Martens said, "We think it's a victory for women on the African continent. Women in Africa have long suffered under the oppression of war, colonialism, poverty and patriarchy.