Running South Africa like the AU might not be a good idea, NDZ


ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma recently said that if she became president of South Africa, she could do for South Africa what she did for the African Union (AU) Commission. But that might not necessarily be a good thing. The Daily Vox team explains.

Last week, speaking at the launch of her book about her time as the head of the AU, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma likened the continent’s need for stability to South Africa’s, and said that the challenges facing South Africa are similar to those the AU faced.

“What we did at the AU is not different to what needs to be done on the whole in South Africa.”

But these two things are nothing like each other.

South Africa is a country while the AU is an intergovernmental organisation. These are two different governing systems, with different rules and laws.

For starters, most of the rules of the AU are not binding on their members. In actuality, the AU answers to its members, and member states cannot be held liable if they do not follow the AU’s rules.

As a country, South Africans politicians and citizens alike are beholden to the laws of the country. While certain individuals might escape following the law, most people will have to answer if they break the rules.

It does not seem like a good idea to draw inspiration on running the country from running the AU.

And then there’s the question of whether Dlamini-Zuma actually achieved anything of substance during her time at the AU.

Jakkie Cilliers, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies says that while Dlamini-Zuma has proved herself to be a good administrator, her achievements at the AU have been mixed.

During her two terms as head of the AU Commission, Dlamini-Zuma did not achieve anything substantial.

Experts from civil society, and people within the AU have said that during her time there, she seemed more concerned with the affairs in South Africa than those in the organisation, that she was never really present, and that she spent a lot of her time as head of the AU Commission on ANC business. This is not what you want to see from the person occupying the Presidency.

Dlamini-Zuma also ran into difficulties uniting the continental body, especially the Anglophone and Francophone divide, and was reportedly slow to react to crises. At this point in our history, running the ANC and the country would need someone who can unite the fractured ANC and Parliament behind a common vision, and act decisively in the face of a crisis.

Contrary to what she would say, Dlamini-Zuma’s tenure at the AU does not promise strong, unifying leadership for the country.

While she seem determined to take up the presidency of the ANC and the country, if her record at the AU is anything to go by, personal political aspirations will trump any responsibility to those she is supposed to serve. There is a possibility Dlamini-Zuma could use the presidency, like she did her position at the AU, to serve the interests of the powerful rather than the citizens.

Featured image via Flickr


  1. comrades stupid will be stupid if not asinine thus, that is exactly what this article is being being it omitted key facts. Among those key facts are with severely limited resources Dr. Dlamini Zuma possessed as African Union Commission president a better job could not have been done at her position. In virtually every issue writer of article named financial resources were key plus adequate resources were not available in each matter to Dr. Dlamini Zuma. If you going tell a story of issue of next President of South Africa tell it all or tell nothing. It clearly appear writer of article seek to support some incompetent who bow to colonialists who created mess in South Africa plus hinder or/plus prohibit Buntu from cleaning up mess to bring about living conditions all citizens of South Africa should possess as a minimum living condition. To put conditions concerning Dr. Dlamin Zuma in proper perspective is to acknowledge she is only person of those seeking presidency of South Africa who have experience by witnessing of actively being part of managing conditions like those which need to be resolved in South Africa with greatest issue being elimination of shanty towns for affordable low income Earth Block homes. In addition she know South Africa infrastructure size need be increased unto it become slightly above what is needed to accommodate new businesses plus their energy needs. She also know that infrastructure need have a multifaceted development with emphasis on renewable energy but, most importantly she know plus will pursue greater sharing of existing wealth as more wealth is generated. As for all others all they have shown is how to arouse Buntu people or cater to rich in hope rich will make them rich but none but Dr. Dlamini Zuma have shown leadership ability that is sure to upgrade living conditions for South Africans that need it most. If you do not know those who need it most or have not seen them just go over to one of South Africa’s shanty towns. Very much sincere, Henry Price Jr. aka Obediah Buntu IL-Khan aka Kankan aka Gue.

  2. Well Henry we can all see what swell education you got. In a nutshell Dlamini Zuma hasnt got a clue. Only reason she needs to be President is to give Jacob Zuma a pardon to keep him out of prison , yet again enabling the corrupt incompetant and greedy, the status quo of african leadership.
    Read this article to illustrate that Dlamini Zuma is just plain useless, article was also really well written by a educated blackman. South Africa doesnt need another blithering idiot male or female.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here