African National Congress President Jacob Zuma’s advisor Mo Shaik said the international community should not expect Zuma to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis after the indecisive elections of 2008.
When a Pretoria embassy official mentioned that the extensive media coverage surrounding Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s 7 April meeting with Zuma gave the impression that Zuma was now the point man, Shaik said “anyone who believes that is stupid….What happens in Zimbabwe will depend on Mbeki”.
He added that the international community had unrealistic expectations.
“What do they want us to do? Send in troops? That’s simply not an option,” he said.
Viewing cable 08PRETORIA729, ZUMA ADVISOR TRIES TO LOWER EXPECTATIONS ON
PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #0729 0991504
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P 081504Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4066
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
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RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 9713
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C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 000729
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/08/2018
SUBJECT: ZUMA ADVISOR TRIES TO LOWER EXPECTATIONS ON
REF: PRETORIA 727
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(
b) and (d).
¶1. (C) On 08 April, ANC President Zuma advisor Mo Shaik told
PolOff that the international community should not expect ANC
President Jacob Zuma to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis. When
PolOff mentioned that the extensive media coverage
surrounding MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s 07 April meeting
with Zuma on 7 April gives the impression that Zuma is now
the point man, Shaik said “anyone who believes that is
stupid….What happens in Zimbabwe will depend on Mbeki.” He
also added that the international community had unrealistic
expectations. “What do they want us to do? Send in troops?
That’s simply not an option,” he said.
¶2. (C) Shaik, who said he discussed Zimbabwe at length with
Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad the evening before,
outlined three scenarios for Zimbabwe, at least two of which
would result in “chaos.” First, there could be a run-off
with either a legitimate MDC victory or a ZANU-PF victory
which will be rigged. In his opinion, however, a free and
fair election is not realistic and the international
community, “especially the US Government” should recognize
this. Second, Zimbabwe would “continue stumbling along,
declare a state of emergency, and keep Mugabe as President.”
Shaik said that this option is also unacceptable as it would
lead to anarchy. Last, Shaik reiterated his preferred plan
of action that MDC and ZANU-PF set up a government of
national unity without Mugabe (reftel).
¶3. (C) Shaik said that Zuma is steering Mbeki toward the idea
of a transitional government through DepForMin Pahad, DFA
Great Lakes Envoy Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, and others in
government (septel). Shaik said the most the ANC can do is
criticize Mugabe and that ANC Spokesperson (and former DFA
DDF for Africa: Multilateral) Jessie Duarte told him
yesterday that the ANC is ready to speak out. When asked
what leverage that would give Zuma, Shaik laughed, and said
“it won’t, and that’s the point.” Shaik expects the
international community will give the ANC credit for speaking
out, but doing so will effectively eliminate the ANC as
potential negotiators given that ZANU-PF would then view them
as biased. Shaik also sees the removal of the ANC as a
potential negotiator as a way out for Zuma, whom he believes
is being set up by failure “by members of (US Government) who
do not want to see him become South Africa’s President.”