South African woman to lead African Union

July 16, 2012 - 5:39 AM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — African leaders have elected a female politician from South Africa to lead the African Union.

South African Minister of Home Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was voted in late Sunday to lead the African Union Commission.

Dlamini-Zuma successfully challenged the incumbent, Jean Ping of Gabon, who held the post since 2008. Ping had the backing of French-speaking African nations, while Dlamini-Zuma had the backing of English-speaking nations.

Dlamini-Zuma secured the votes of 37 of the 54 African Union nations to win.

Dlamini-Zuma is the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma.

The African Union heads of state and government two-day assembly closes late Monday.