President Jacob Zuma and MPs from across the political spectrum hailed Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for her years of hard work and dedication to serving South Africa, and said she would be sorely missed.
Addressing a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP), in which Dlamini Zuma was present, Zuma lauded the Home Affairs Minister as one of the country’s most exceptional leaders.
“She will be sorely missed in the country, but we know that we shall feel her footsteps in Addis Ababa,” Zuma said, referring to the Ethiopian capital where the AU headquarters is based.
Dlamini Zuma will next month take over from the current AU chairperson Jean Ping.
After joining the government Cabinet in 1994, Dlamini Zuma served first as Minister of Health, then Foreign Affairs and most recently Home Affairs, after spending many years in exile and inside the country as an activist before the country’s first democratic elections.
She had helped extend healthcare to the poor by rolling out clinics in rural areas and had successfully introduced anti-tobacco legislation which staving off criticism from smokers and tobacco companies, said Zuma.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs she had helped to lead the African renaissance and revival of the continent, and had for many years been the sole woman in UN circles and African leader meetings.
Zuma said in 2009, she was given the mammoth task of turning around the Department of Home Affairs and had succeeded in her task.
“She has demonstrated that indeed government services can be