Zuma’s Ex-wife Named MP Ahead Of Key ANC Leadership Vote

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

An ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday that she was being re-appointed a lawmaker in parliament, in what is being seen as her latest step to secure the country’s presidency in two years’ time.

Local media reported that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former African Union chief, was sworn in Thursday as a member of parliament for the governing African National Congress.

She posted on Twitter that “5 years ago I left parliament with mixed feelings today I return as directed by (the ANC) as a servant of the SA (South African) people.”

“I return determined to contribute to implementing decisions of (the ANC) particularly as it relates to radically improving our people’s lives,” she wrote.

Dlamini-Zuma, 68, is considered a leading candidate to replace Zuma as head of the ANC at a party conference in December, though she has not publically declared her candidacy in the leadership battle.

But she has been endorsed by the ANC’s women and youth leagues, and enjoys support from the powerful KwaZulu-Natal province, which is also Zuma’s stronghold.

Since she left the AU early this year, she has been campaigning across the country, and nominations for the party leadership posts are expected to be announced this month.

Zuma is widely seen as favouring Dlamini-Zuma, with whom he has four children, ahead of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, which would set up a showdown that could split the ANC.

Dlamini-Zuma last month rejected criticism that her bid to succeed Zuma was a strategy to protect the embattled leader from criminal prosecution once he leaves office, telling AFP that she found such allegations “offensive”.

President Zuma, who completes his final term in power in 2019, faces a slew of court cases, including one stemming from nearly 800 corruption charges that may be reinstated over a multibillion-dollar arms deal in the 1990s.


African Union Says Gambia President’s Rejection Of Poll Results Is “Null And Void”

yahyah-jammehThe African Union on Saturday called a statement by Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh rejecting his loss in December 1 polls “null and void” since he had already conceded defeat.

“The Chairperson of the Commission strongly urges President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power,” said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who also called on Gambia’s security forces to remain neutral.

Jammeh on Friday called for another election in the West African country after narrowly losing to opposition leader Adama Barrow. He had already conceded defeat publicly last week.

The announcement on state television threw Gambia’s future into doubt after the unexpected election result ended Jammeh’s 22-year rule and was widely seen as a moment of democratic hope.

Meanwhile, Gambian authorities have refused entry to the chair of regional body, ECOWAS, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Senegal’s foreign minister said on Saturday, dampening hopes for a political solution after Jammeh rejected the results of elections.

The streets of Banjul were calm on Saturday, although some residents said they were staying at home for fear of violence.

Reuters reports that Sirleaf had hoped to put back on track Gambia’s first democratic transition of power in over 50 years, but those plans appeared thwarted on Saturday when her plane was denied landing access at Banjul.

“Johnson Sirleaf was supposed to fly in today, but Jammeh said ‘not at the moment,'” Senegal Foreign Minister, Mankeur Ndiaye told Reuters. It was not clear if the plane had already taken off.

Sirleaf’s camp was not immediately available for comment. A spokesman for Jammeh’s government could not be reached.

As Gambians brace for a tense standoff, international criticism of Jammeh’s claim came in fast. Following the United States and Senegal, the African Union on Saturday weighed in, calling Jammeh’s statement “null and void”.

“The Chairperson of the Commission strongly urges President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power,” said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who also called on Gambia’s security forces to remain neutral.

African Heads Of State Sign Charter On Maritime Security

Heads of State in Africa sign Charter on maritime safety African leaders have adopted and signed a draft Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development.

The agreement is aimed at establishing a roadmap on maritime security in Africa and causing development and economic growth through Africa’s oceans and seas.

At a summit in Lome, the capital of Togo, the African leaders signed the charter which is the culmination of previous summits, to provide peace, security and stability on Africa’s blue economy.

Over 90 per cent of Africa’s trade is maritime-based.

Prior to the signing of the charter, series of discussions were held by international maritime specialists and experts who met for five days.

They examined maritime piracy, trafficking, illegal fishing, development of the blue economy and protection of marine ecosystem.

These discussions culminated in a charter the Chairperson of African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and President Idriss Deby of Chad referred to as an uncommon feat.

Chairperson of African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Channels Television’s correspondent, Omelogo Nnadi, says nearly 3,000 delegates from 54 African countries and and outside the continent were in Lome for the African Union Extraordinary Summit on maritime security and development.

The summit had focused on mapping out an African strategy for the protection of the continent’s seas.

A Very Major Step

For the development of the continent’s blue economy to happen, Africa needs to run like a cheetah, UN Economic Commission Executive Secretary, Dr Carlos Lopes, says.

“What we need is a much deeper understanding of the transformation that is required by the continent and that transformation can be represented by the fastest moving animal on earth which happens to be in Africa – the cheetah,” he pointed out.

He said Africa must prepare for the worst while expecting the best.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission had listed major challenges facing the continent’s maritime development.

She says Africa needs to have its own products being transported out of the continent with its own vessels.

Nigeria’s Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo says the charter is a major step

After the signing of the Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development, the President of Chad, Mr Deby and the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the agreement was a big achievement for Africa’s development.

“One of the critical things here is that we have been able to get everyone to agree, which by itself, is a very major step. It, of course, enjoins every African country to provide certain services and armed services in their own locality,” Professor Osinbajo stressed.

Before now, vast potentials of Africa’s blue economy have been infiltrated by criminals, pirates and smugglers, but the leaders have made a strong commitment to the monitoring and coordinating of activities in the continent’s waters through the charter.

Part of what the leaders plan to achieve with the new charter are job creation and revenue increase that could run into billions of dollars.