in Stories

MDC boycotts cabinet meetings

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and ministers from his party, the Movement for Democratic Change, boycotted a cabinet meeting chaired by President Robert Mugabe for the second time in two weeks to press for Mugabe to address outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement.

“We did not attend a cabinet meeting again today (and will not) until the outstanding issues have been addressed,” party spokesman Nelson Chamisa, who is also a cabinet minister, said.

“It is not possible to continue with this inclusive government without addressing outstanding issues,” Chamisa said.

Tsvangirai had, however, held his regular weekly meetings with Mugabe the previous day.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09PRETORIA2210, SOUTH AFRICA POLITICAL NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 26-OCTOBER 30

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09PRETORIA2210

2009-10-30 12:58

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO4660

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #2210/01 3031258

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 301258Z OCT 09

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0052

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 7285

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 1364

RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 9645

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 002210

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KDEM PGOV ASEC SF POL PAS ECON

SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA POLITICAL NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 26-OCTOBER 30

 

PRETORIA 00002210 001.2 OF 002

 

 

1. (SBU) This was written in partnership with the Open Source

Center’s Pretoria Bureau. The newsletter is open to contributions

from officers in the Embassy or in the Consulates who wish to

highlight political trends. Contact Madeline Seidenstricker or

Jonathan Smallridge for more information, or to make contributions.

The newsletter also is available on the Political Section’s blog, “A

View from South Africa,” found on intelink.gov.

 

————-

Domestic News

————-

 

Pakistani Syndicate Illegally Enter RSA Using Fraudulent Documents

 

2. (U) “Rapport” South African Afrikaans weekly reported on 25

October that Pakistani crime syndicates are operating in South

Africa. The ease with which illegal immigrants can enter the

country and the cooperation of corrupt public servants and police

officers reportedly make South Africa particularly attractive for

the syndicates. Many Pakistanis do not qualify for a South African

visa. They allegedly pay agents in Pakistan between $4,000 and

$6,000 (30,000 rand and 45,000 rand) for safe passage. This amount

includes a bribe, false documents and accommodation in a “safe

house.” The report further stated that Pakistani criminal gangs are

also lured to South Africa by the growing market in illegal drugs.

[Description of Source: Johannesburg Rapport in Afrikaans —

Privately-owned national Sunday newspaper critical of government

policies]

 

Challenges to Mpumalanga Name Changes

 

3. (U) More than 600 businesses in Mpumalanga are seeking legal

advice on how to challenge what they claim is “a flawed name change

process.” The South African Government earlier this month announced

plans to rename cities and towns in Mpumalanga, including changing

Nelspruit to Mbombela. The Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism

argue that the consultation process conducted by Minister of Arts

and Culture Lulu Xingwana was unfair as businesses were not fully

consulted and the deadline for public comments or objections

relating to the proposed name change was not widely publicized. An

additional objection from business is that Nelspruit is not a

politically offensive name in South African history. The Democratic

Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga also has questioned the name change as

the party’s provincial leader said while the DA is not opposed to

the changing of offensive or derogatory names, the motive behind the

changes in Mpumalanga “must be questioned.” (News24, October 27,

2009)

Service Delivery Protests in Diepsloot “Motivated by Anti-ANC

Campaign”

4. (U) The African National Congress (ANC) in Diepsloot, north of

Johannesburg, says service delivery protests on October 24-25 were

spurred by anti-ANC activists. Residents barricaded roads and

looted small businesses and demanded the local councilor step down.

(Note: The South African Communist Party SACP leaders in the area

came out in support of the protests. End Note.) The ANC

chairperson in Diepsloot, Rogers Makhubele, says the protest action

was organized by criminals and those opposed to the ruling party.

(SABCNEWS, October 27, 2009)

Tshwane Mayor Keeps Her Job in Reshuffled Cabinet

5. (U) Tshwane Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa reshuffled her mayoral

committee, which might help save her own political future.

Ramokgopa announced her new council on October 26 as seven members

of the Mayoral Executive Committee were recalled under pressure from

the ANC’s Tshwane branches. Ramokgopa said the moves would help

strengthen service delivery in the city, which is dealing with

Qstrengthen service delivery in the city, which is dealing with

several problems including poor debt collection and financial

management. The mayor said, “These changes that we are making, it

is improving our capacity to move faster and to ensure that we deal

with complex challenges we acknowledge still remain.” Ramokgopa

added that her administration remained committed to good governance

and would build on the successes of the past. (Eyewitness, October

26, 2009)

Inkatha Freedom Party Keeps Mangosuthu Buthelezi as Leader

6. (U) The national council of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has

taken a resolution that party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi will

continue as leader. Political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu has warned

that this is likely to cause more harm than good for the divided

party because younger members want a greater say in the party’s

future. Ndlovu’s comments come after the national council of the

IFP decided that Buthelezi was the only unifying member in the party

and that neither IFP National Chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi nor

IFP General Secretary Musa Zondi should avail themselves for

nominations to take over from Buthelezi when he retires. Ndlovu

said the resolution was a clear indication that the party has failed

to produce new leaders or deal with the succession issue. (Soweto,

October 26, 2009)

 

——————

International News

 

PRETORIA 00002210 002.2 OF 002

 

 

——————

 

Zimbabwe Leaders Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai Hold Direct Talks

26 Oct

 

7. (U) On 26 October French news agency AFP reported that

Zimbabwe’s leaders met in their first direct talks since Prime

Minister Morgan Tsvangirai suspended his party’s participation in

meetings with government partner President Robert Mugabe. “This is a

regular Monday meeting and they will discuss the issues of the GPA

(Global Political Agreement),” which underpins the unity government,

Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said, confirming the meeting was

under way. “However (Deputy Prime Minister Arthur) Mutambara is

going to leave the two to discuss further,” Charamba told AFP.

(Note: There also were press reports this week that South African

allies of former President Thabo Mbeki, Frank Chikane and Manjaku

Gumbi, were in Harare for talks on the progress of the GPA. End

Note.) [Description of Source: Paris AFP (World Service) in English

— world news service of the independent French news agency Agence

France Presse]

 

MDC’s Tsvangirai, Other Ministers Boycott Zimbabwe Cabinet Meeting

Led by Mugabe

 

8. (U) Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and ministers

drawn from his MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) party Tuesday

boycotted a cabinet meeting led by President Robert Mugabe for the

second time in as many weeks, reported AFP 27 October. “We did not

attend a cabinet meeting again today (and will not) until the

outstanding issues have been addressed,” Nelson Chamisa, spokesman

for the MDC, who is also a cabinet minister, told AFP. The second

boycott by Tsvangirai came after his talks with Mugabe on 26 October

failed to break a deadlock after the MDC withdrew from participation

in the unity government on October 16, sparking a crisis in the

eight month partnership. “It is not possible to continue with this

inclusive government without addressing outstanding issues, “Chamisa

later told a press conference. [Description of Source: Paris AFP

(World Service) in English — world news service of the independent

French news agency Agence France Presse]

 

South Africa, DRC Bilateral Talks Move Forward Under Zuma

 

9. (U) Zuma co-chaired the SA-DRC Binational Commission Summit with

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila on

October 30 in Pretoria. Zuma was supported by a full team of

ministers, underscoring the importance of the relationship to the

South African Government. Nearly every minister in the Zuma Cabinet

played a role in the visit, especially International Relations and

Corporation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Home

Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Defense and Military

Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu, and Minister of Trade and Industry Rob

Davies.   The Commission focused on South Africa’s continued support

for the Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development program in the

DRC. (DIRCO Briefing, October 27)

 

South Africa, Nigeria Mark Anniversary of Bilateral Talks

 

10. (U) Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on October 29 hosted a

series of activities in South Africa with his Nigerian counterpart,

Goodluck Jonathan, as part of the 10-year anniversary celebrations

of the South Africa-Nigeria Binational Commission. During the South

African meetings, Motlanthe and Jonathan promised to promote trade

and investment on the African continent as well to push for stronger

cooperation in building institutions in South Africa and Nigeria.

Motlanthe is expected to visit Nigeria next month to reciprocate the

QMotlanthe is expected to visit Nigeria next month to reciprocate the

exchange. (DIRCO Briefing, October 22)

 

(3 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment