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Cablegate: At Launch of Peace Chair, Zuma Talks of Violent Crime

R 221435Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL DURBAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1332
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
INFO AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG
AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN
AMCONSUL DURBAN

UNCLAS DURBAN 000055


DEPT FOR DS/IP/AF, AF/EX ANDQF/S

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV SF
SUBJECT: AT LAUNCH OF PEACE CHAIR, ZUMA TALKS OF VIOLENT CRIME

1. ANC President Jacob Zuma acknowledged the challenge of
violent crime and murder during his keynote address at the
inauguration of the Gandhi-Luthuli Chair of Peace Studies at the
University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) on September 18. Zuma, who
shared the stage with Indian Minister of State for External
Affairs Anand Sharma--a long-time anti-apartheid ally of the
ANC's--referred to the negative Indian press on crime against
South Africans of Indian origin. He assured Sharma and the
audience (full of both Zuma's supporters as well as many
prominent members of the Indian community) of the ANC's
commitment to addressing crime. Zuma singled out the "street
committee" initiative that was launched in KwaZulu Natal as a
successful example of ANC efforts to fight crime. Comment:
Zuma's remarks were likely made with South African Indian voters
in mind--the Indian community is less politically predictable
and can affect ANC provincial-level results in KwaZulu Natal.
End comment.

2. The recent negative reporting in the Indian press was
prompted by the brutal murders of a well-known lawyer, Naren
Sham, his wife, and 20-year old son (a law student at UKZN) at
their Durban home in early September--the three were found bound
and gagged, stabbed multiple times and with their throats slit.
These killings were not the only murders of South African
Indians in recent weeks, others include the murder of a Durban
jeweller, Pat Pather, during a robbery at his business downtown
in late August, and the robbery and strangling of a mother and
daughter, Rajini and Damini Narainsamy, at their home in the
KwaZulu Natal town of Newcastle in mid-September.

3. The high profile inauguration and the enthusiastic reception
of Zuma was covered extensively in local media. Media reports
noted the irony of Zuma's extolling the virtues of Mahatma
Gandhi and Albert Luthuli and the principles of peace and
non-violence while his own supporters from the ANC youth league
continue their aggressive "kill for Zuma" posturing.

DERDERIAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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