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Zuma asked how West could expect cooperation from Mugabe when they were so critical of him

African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma asked the how the West could expect Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to cooperate with them when they were so critical of him.

Zuma posed the question to then United States President George Bush, National Security advisor Stephen Hadley, Secretary Condoleezza Rice, USAID administrator Henrietta Fore when he met them in Washington in October 2008. He was not yet South African president.

Zuma said the South African government had been as aggressive on Zimbabwe as it could without damaging its ability to influence negotiations in the future.

He even criticised United States ambassador to South Africa Eric Bost for “pushing him hard”.

In a note to a cable released by Wikileaks, Bost said Zuma’s tone in Washington was quite different from that in Pretoria on his return as he reportedly said that the Southern African Development Community was going to put pressure on Mugabe to find a solution to the impasse in negotiations with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change because “what happens in Zimbabwe has effect on the region”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08PRETORIA2464, DIPLOMATS IN SOUTH AFRICA TALK ZUMA AND ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08PRETORIA2464

2008-11-07 09:48

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Pretoria

P 070948Z NOV 08

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6362

INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN PRIORITY

AMCONSUL DURBAN PRIORITY

AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG PRIORITY

CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 002464

 

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S J. FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/05/2018

TAGS: KDEM PGOV PREL SF ZANU ZM

SUBJECT: DIPLOMATS IN SOUTH AFRICA TALK ZUMA AND ZIMBABWE

 

REF: PRETORIA 02392

 

Classified By: Ambassador Eric M. Bost for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (C) Summary: On November 4, 2008, Ambassador Bost briefed

Chiefs of Missions (COM) to South Africa on African National

Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma’s October 20-25 trip to

the U.S. (report septel). The COMs discussed who was making

South African Government (SAG) policy on Zimbabwe now and in

the future, but agreed generally that it was not yet clear.

They expressed no optimism regarding the possible outcomes of

the South African Development Community (SADC) Summit on

Zimbabwe planned for November 9. End summary.

 

2. (C) Ruth Archibald, Canadian High Commissioner, said Frank

Chikane, Director General of the Presidency under former

President Thabo Mbeki, is staying at the Presidency under

President Kgalema Motlanthe and maintains the lead on

Zimbabwe policy. (Note: This contradicts what Zimbabwe

analyst Sydney Masamvu told us on October 30 (see reftel).

End note.) She said Mathews Phosa, ANC Treasurer General, is

occupied with other matters for at least two weeks and is not

“pulling strings” on the upcoming SADC Summit.

 

3. (C) Colin Wrafter, Irish Ambassador, said he had come

directly from the Department of Foreign Affairs where he

learned that neither the SAG nor other SADC members would

support a proposal for new presidential elections in

Zimbabwe. (Note: Movement for Democratic Change leader

Morgan Tsvangirai is shopping around the continent the idea

that a new general election should form the basis of a

comprehensive solution to the ongoing Zimbabwe crisis. End

note.) Wrafter said the SAG was considering the idea of

proposing two ministers for the Home Affairs Ministry in

Zimbabwe or a co-share that would rotate every few weeks.

 

4. (C) Ambassador Bost told the COMs that President Bush,

Secretary Rice, National Security Advisor Hadley and USAID

Administrator Fore discussed the Zimbabwe crisis with Zuma.

Zuma told them the SAG would continue to work through SADC

and would use diplomacy to address the situation in Zimbabwe.

In Washington, Zuma said the SAG had been as aggressive as

it could without damaging its ability to influence

negotiations in the future. (Note: Later, back in Pretoria,

Zuma reportedly said it was time for SADC to put additional

pressure on Mugabe to find a solution to the impasse in

negotiations because “what happens in Zimbabwe has effect on

the region.” End note.) He asked how the West could be so

critical of President Robert Mugabe and then expect Mugabe’s

cooperation. He commented to President Bush that Ambassador

Bost had been “pushing him hard.” According to Ambassador

Bost, Zuma mentioned no foreign policy priorities. The COMs

conveyed great appreciation to Ambassador Bost for this

briefing.

 

 

BOST

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