- Category: Stories
- Published on Friday, 03 May 2013 08:01
- Written by Charles Rukuni
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This was relayed to United States embassy officials by Econet boss Strive Masiyiwa according to a cable released by Wikileaks.
The officials, who described Masiyiwa as an embassy contact, said he had told them that Zuma was fed up with Mugabe and had told the country’s President Thabo Mbeki to convey that message to the Zimbabwean President.
Mbeki had, however, "hemmed and hawed" and never contacted Mugabe.
Masiyiwa told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee via a conference call that his colleague had met with Zuma on 26 March 2008, three days before the harmonised elections in Zimbabwe, to lobby on Zimbabwe.
Embassy officials said they suspected Masiyiwa’s colleague to be Jethro Goko who at the time was the editor-in-chief of the Port Elizabeth Herald.
Viewing cable 08PRETORIA642, MASIYIWA ALLY LOBBYING ZUMA TO BE TOUGH ON ZIMBABWE
RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #0642 0881333
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281333Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3961
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1470
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0612
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0507
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0203
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1322
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0264
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2197
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9683
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5455
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0514
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 000642
DEPT FOR AF/S
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2018
SUBJECT: MASIYIWA ALLY LOBBYING ZUMA TO BE TOUGH ON ZIMBABWE
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(b) and
¶1. (C) African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma
reportedly said that the ANC is "fed up" with President
Mugabe, according to Embassy contact and Zimbabwean
businessman Strive Masiyiwa. Masiyiwa told Ambassador McGee
(speaking by conference call), PolCounselor and PolOff that
one of Masyiwa's colleagues met with Zuma in Port Elizabeth
March 26 to lobby on Zimbabwe. (NOTE: Post suspects the
person who met with Zuma is Masiyiwa friend Jethro Goko.
Goko is a Zimbabwean national and Editor-in-Chief of the Port
Elizabeth Herald, a newspaper owned in part by Cyril
Ramaphosa. END NOTE.)
¶2. (C) Zuma told Masiyiwa's friend that the ANC was
particularly concerned about the statements of senior
Zimbabwean military officials that they will not respect the
outcome of the election if Mugabe loses. The ANC National
Executive Committee (NEC) issued a statement on March 17 that
urged "all institutions of state in Zimbabwe, and in
particular the security forces, to remain non-partisan and to
respect the outcome of the elections." Zuma said the ANC
"instructed" President Mbeki to deliver this message with
President Mugabe. Mbeki "hemmed and hawed" and never
contacted Mugabe. Zuma then asked former Chief of the South
African National Defense Force (SANDF) Siphiwe Nyanda to
reach out to Zimbabwean military officers, many of whom he
knows well, to urge them to respect the results of the
election. Masiyiwa does not know if Nyanda was successful.
¶3. (C) Zuma also said that he discussed Zimbabwe with Angolan
President dos Santos during his recent trip to Angola. Dos
Santos told Zuma that Angola will not go out of its way to
help Mugabe, reportedly saying that "Angolan troops will not
cross the border to save Mugabe."
¶4. (C) COMMENT: While Zuma has publicly backed Mbeki's quiet
diplomacy in Zimbabwe, we agree that Zuma does not carry the
same baggage as Mbeki and is less likely to protect Mugabe.
Many of Zuma's closest allies in COSATU and the SACP are
openly sympathetic to the Zimbabwean opposition and critical
of Mugabe. We were encouraged by the ANC public statement
urging the Zimbabwean security structures to respect the
election results. That said, Zuma is famous for telling
people what they want to hear, so whether Zuma's private
comments will translate into public ANC positions -- or
influence over South African Government (SAG) policy -- is
unclear. END COMMENT.