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Zuma advisor said US should not expect ANC to support Tsvangirai

African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma’s advisor Mo Shaik told United States embassy officials in Pretoria that the United States should not hold any notion that Zuma would favour Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

At the same time South African President Thabo Mbeki should not assume that the ANC would favour Robert Mugabe.

“If the US thinks we’re going to install Tsvangirai, they’re dead wrong,” he said.

He also said that Mugabe would have to be part of a Government of National Unity, especially now that the MDC had pulled out of the run-off.

Tsvangirai had said he favoured a government of national unity which he would lead but Mugabe should retire.

“If the US wants democracy, then you have nothing to complain about; MDC did not win a majority in the first round and now have pulled out of the run-off. The MDC now has no recourse,” Shaik said.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08PRETORIA1358, ANC PLANS TO MEDIATE ZIMBABWE CRISIS


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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA1358

2008-06-23 15:59

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO1221

PP RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #1358/01 1751559

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 231559Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4848

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 3677

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY 5719

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY 9917

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 001358

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2018

TAGS: PGOV PREL SF ZI

SUBJECT: ANC PLANS TO MEDIATE ZIMBABWE CRISIS

 

 

PRETORIA 00001358 001.2 OF 002

 

 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(

b) and (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. PolOff met on 23 June with Mo Shaik, one of

ANC President Jacob Zuma’s advisors, to discuss the ANC’s

plans to mediate the Zimbabwe crisis, which essentially

rehashes Mbeki’s current proposals for a government of

national unity. Shaik said in no uncertain terms that the

ANC will be neutral and that the US should not expect the ANC

to favor MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai in any way. He also

added that Mugabe would be part of a GNU, especially now that

the MDC pulled out of the run-off. However, Shaik admitted

the ANC has no leverage over Mugabe or ZANU-PF to negotiate a

settlement and is operating under the assumption that ZANU-PF

will act in good faith as the former apartheid regime did

during South Africa’s transition. MDC will likely initially

welcome ANC involvement, but once they realize that the ANC

only offers the same old wine in a new bottle, they will

likely reject ANC mediation as they have Mbeki’s. Post

believes the most likely outcome is that Mugabe will ignore

the ANC just as he has Mbeki. Post defers to Embassy Harare

and Department, but Zimbabwe might be best served if neither

South Africa nor the ANC were the SADC mediator. END

SUMMARY.

 

—————————————

ANC’S MAKES A NEUTRAL PLAN FOR ZIMBABWE

—————————————

 

2. (C) PolOff met on 23 June with Mo Shaik, one of ANC

President Jacob Zuma’s advisors, to discuss the ANC’s plans

to mediate the Zimbabwe crisis. With the help of Norwegian

funding, Shaik said Zuma will soon embark on a tour around

SADC to convince leaders that Zuma and the ANC have a role to

play. He said the ANC will appeal to liberation movements

within SADC by reminding them what they fought for. When

asked what Mbeki will think of all this, Shaik said that they

will do this in conjunction with Mbeki. “We’re not going to

let anyone — Mugabe or the US — for that matter, pit the

ANC against Mbeki or vice-versa,” he warned.

 

3. (C) Shaik also said that he and “others” have been working

non-stop for the past three days on a detailed plan that is

“principled.” In other words, Shaik said, the United States

should not hold any notion that Zuma will favor MDC Leader

Morgan Tsvangirai in any way, just as President Mbeki should

not assume that the ANC will favor Robert Mugabe. “If the US

thinks we’re going to install Tsvangirai, they’re dead

wrong,” he said. He also added that Mugabe will have to be

part of a GNU, especially now that the MDC pulled out of the

run-off. Shaik also asked PolOff to convey in the strongest

terms the ANC’s request that the United States be quiet on

the matter for now to give the ANC room to negotiate.

 

————-

THE MECHANICS

————-

 

4. (C) Shaik said the ANC has a six-part plan to solving the

crisis. First and foremost, the ANC wants to stop all

political violence in Zimbabwe. After violence has stopped,

they will negotiate with the security services, including the

CIO, police, and military to accept a GNU. Shaik admitted

this will be no easy feat as the ANC Generals report on

violence in Zimbabwe concluded that the military would launch

a coup d’etat should MDC win the run-off. Once the security

services are on board, they will enter into a 2-3 year GNU

Qservices are on board, they will enter into a 2-3 year GNU

called a Transitional Executive Authority (TEA), like South

Africa’s own Transitional Executive Committee during the

transition). The TEA will then work on four things during

the transition: creating free and fair conditions for a new

election (including equal access to media, freedom of speech,

right to campaign, and demilitarizing the Zimbabwe Electoral

Commission), deciding who would be prosecuted for what crimes

during the Mugabe regime, stabilizing the economy and lifting

international sanctions, and last ensuring all humanitarian

needs are met through international aid donors.

 

5. (C) Shaik anticipates three main sticking points. First,

who will be prosecuted will be contentious. Though he said

he would let Zimbabweans decide how they wanted to move

ahead, either with a Truth and Reconciliation-like set-up or

otherwise, he also said generals would have to be guaranteed

a “soft exit” before they would agree to a TEA. Second, he

said he expected the U.S. to refuse to lift international

sanctions against regime hardliners. Last and most

 

PRETORIA 00001358 002.2 OF 002

 

 

contentious, he knows Mugabe’s role in a GNU would not be

acceptable to the U.S. PolOff expressed US concerns that

given the regime’s behavior, Mugabe should not be rewarded

with a position in a GNU, that Mugabe has lied in the past

about how long he will stay in power, and that Mugabe and

regime hardliners are likely to do everything in their power

to emasculate the MDC in a GNU. Though he agreed with all of

these points, he said he does not see a way around it now

that the MDC has pulled out unless both Mugabe and Tsvangirai

agree not to be part of the new government.

 

—————————–

MDC SHOULDN’T HAVE PULLED OUT

—————————–

 

6. (C) PolOff elicited Shaik’s views on MDC’s refusal to

participate in the run-off. He started out by saying, “if

the US wants democracy, then you have nothing to complain

about; MDC did not win a majority in the first round and now

have pulled out of the run-off. The MDC now has no

recourse.” Shaik, however, added that the ANC did not and

would not have advised them to pull out, believing they would

have had more leverage to call and enter into a GNU after a

flawed run-off election. As for the ANC’s own leverage,

Shaik admitted as he has in the past that the ANC does not

have any particular leverage over Mugabe or ZANU-PF. PolOff

asked what happens if ZANU-PF now declares victory and

doesn’t want to talk about a GNU, Shaik simply said, “then

they don’t and Zimbabwe stays as it is with Mugabe as

President for another five years.”

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) The ANC’s plan for Zimbabwe mirrors its own model

during the transition: cease all political violence, level

the playing field, set conditions for free and fair

elections, lift international sanctions, and decide on how to

handle past crimes. However, the ANC has failed to realize

that Zimbabwe is not South Africa and that Mugabe is no de

Klerk. The first step was a willingness to listen to the

people when the former apartheid regime allowed a free and

fair referendum on apartheid, which we do not see in

Zimbabwe.

 

8. (C) Post believes that Shaik accurately reflected the

ANC’s “plan.” Unfortunately, the plan is a list of outcomes

rather than actions that will achieve them. Embassy Harare

is in position to judge ZANU-PF, but we believe that Shaik’s

own response to the question concerning a Mugabe declaration

of victory and refusal to talk — “then they don’t and

Zimbabwe stays as it is with Mugabe as President for another

five years,” is exactly where the ANC plan will wind up.

 

9. (C) Our discussions with MDC contacts lead us to believe

that the MDC will initially welcome ANC involvement.

However, once they realize that the ANC only offers the same

old wine in a new bottle, they will likely reject ANC

mediation as they have Mbeki’s. We defer to Embassy Harare

and the Department, but Zimbabwe might be best served if

neither South Africa nor the ANC are not the SADC mediator.

TEITELBAUM

(8 VIEWS)

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