|SADC raps AU Comm Chair|
|Friday, 13 July 2012 11:27|
From Chenai Masawi in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The Southern African region has criticised African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping for abusing the organisation’s resources to gain support and maintain a grip on the job.
In a statement, Botswana Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Phandu Skelemani expressed shock and dismay at Dr Ping’s abuse of office and the organisation’s resources.
He said the SADC region is shocked and appalled by the blatant abuse of office and resources by the incumbent AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Ping.
The SADC region is demanding an apology from Dr Ping claiming he abused his office by attacking and divulging information of a member state of the African Union.
“The nature of this issue is about a campaign for the post of AU Chairperson, which is a personal matter, and so should have been addressed using personal resources as is normal practice,” said Skelemani.
“We are therefore, shocked and appalled by the blatant abuse of his office and resources of the AU Commission.”
"Article 4(1) under Obligations in the Statutes of the Commission, stipulate that Members of the Commission “shall refrain from any action which may reflect adversely on their position as international officials responsible only to the Union.”
Mr Skelemani’s statement comes after Dr Ping on Tuesday issued a statement in response to an article which appeared in the Sunday Times of South Africa, headlined, “AT LAST, SA MAY GET ITS WOMAN INTO THE AU POST.”
In the statement issued on the AU website and distributed to journalists, Dr Ping declared that he is running for re-election as chairperson of the African Union Commission.
On Thursday 12 July, Dr Ping was expected to address journalists at the new African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa but failed to do so.
He has been at the helm of the AU Commission since 2008.
The AU Commission Chairperson elections will be held at the 19th ordinary session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is contesting and is backed by the SADC region.