Jethro Goko lobbied Zuma to be tough on Mugabe

Zimbabwean journalist Jethro Goko is reported to have lobbied South African President Jacob Zuma to be tougher on President Robert Mugabe. At the time Zuma was not yet the country’s president but was president of the ruling African National Congress.

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.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA642, MASIYIWA ALLY LOBBYING ZUMA TO BE TOUGH ON ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA642

2008-03-28 13:33

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO7382

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

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0514

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 000642

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2018

TAGS: PREL KDEM ZI SF

SUBJECT: MASIYIWA ALLY LOBBYING ZUMA TO BE TOUGH ON ZIMBABWE

 

 

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(b) and

(d).

 

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.

TEITELBAUM

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