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Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter August 16-August 22

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TAGS: KDEM PGOV ASEC SF POL PAS ECON
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA POLITICAL NEWSLETTER AUGUST 16-AUGUST 22

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1. (SBU) This was written in partnership with the Open Source
Center's Pretoria Bureau. The newsletter is open to contributions
from officers in the Embassy or in the Consulates who wish to
highlight political trends. Contact Madeline Seidenstricker or
Jonathan Smallridge for more information, or to make contributions.
The newsletter also is available on the Political Section's blog, "A
View from South Africa," found on intelink.gov.

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International News
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Zuma Visit to Angola

2. (U) President Jacob Zuma from August 20 to 21 traveled to Angola
on his first state visit. Delegates included: International
Relations and Cooperation (DICO) Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Sport and
Recreation Makhenkesi Stofile, Minister of Public Enterprises
Barbara Hogan, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, Minerals
Minister Susan Shabangu, Evaluation and Monitoring Minister in the
Presidency Collins Chabane, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, Minister
of Finance Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele,
Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale and senior officials
from various government departments. A large South African business
delegation also travelled to Angola to join Zuma. The visit takes
place within the context of efforts aimed at consolidating strategic
bilateral and economic relations between the two countries. (DFA
Briefing, 17 August)

DICO Minister Hosts Timor-Leste Counterpart

3. (U) Nkoana-Mashabane hosted Dr. Zacarias da Costa at the
presidential guest house on Monday August 17. Dr. da Costa is
visiting SA on official visit within the context of South-South
relations between the two countries. The bilateral meeting between
the two ministers was aimed at exploring and identifying areas of
cooperation for the benefit of both nations. The South African
Government (SAG) played a role in assisting with nation building in
East Timor. The SAG has offered assistance in reconstruction and
development, good governance and youth education. (DFA Briefing, 16
August)

Zuma Expected to Visit Zimbabwe

4. (U) An expected meeting between members of the unity government
to discuss current challenges failed to materialize. Zuma plans to
visit Zimbabwe before month's end before stepping down as Southern
Africa Development Community chairman early next month. Zuma is
also expected to open the annual Harare Agricultural Show on August
27. (Business Day, August 17)

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Domestic News
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5. (U) Zuma has warned African National Congress (ANC) mayors and
councilors that there is no room for complacency in his government.
The President met with mayors, councilors, the Free State ANC
provincial executive committee, and regional leadership to discuss
recent service delivery protests in the country. He told the
leaders they would be dismissed if they failed to deliver. The
Independent Democrats (ID) welcomed Zuma's meeting, ID Member of
Parliament Joe Mcgluwa said they hope the president's attempt to
align provincial and local government programs with national
government will assist in service delivery. (The Citizen, August
16, 2009)

Service Delivery Protestors Arrested

6. (U) Seventy-eight service delivery protesters were arrested on
Monday night in Kgakala Township. More than 500 people barricaded
roads, burnt tires and threw stones at the police. The protesters
Qroads, burnt tires and threw stones at the police. The protesters
were expected to appear in the Leeudoringstad Magistrate's Court
this week to be formally charged with public violence. North West
Senior Superintendent Lesego Metsi says the protesters met their
provincial MEC for local government last week, but were not
satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. (The Star, August, 18,
2009)
Zuma Launches National Comprehensive Rural Development Program
7. (U) Zuma launched the National Comprehensive Rural Development
Program in Muyexe village in Giyani-Thohoyandou. The program is a
joint venture between the government and private sector. Earlier
this year the government pledged millions of dollars to improve the
lives of people through development in rural areas. Twenty-one
projects have been identified by the community, with the help of the
Mopani municipality, to benefit local people. The capital raised
will be used for infrastructure such as upgrading and refurbishing

PRETORIA 00001694 002.2 OF 002


of agricultural colleges, training, advisory services and marketing
centers. The program is earmarked as the main tool of the Public
Works Department to create 500,000 jobs before the end of the year
as promised by Zuma. (Sowetan, August, 18, 2009)
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Youth Protest
8. (U) IFP members disrupted traffic on Tuesday morning August, 17,
2009 as they demonstrated outside the party offices in Durban. The
IFP Youth Brigade has accused the party of paternalism and
unilateral decision-making. This follows the expulsion of three
youth leaders last week. (SABCNEWS, August, 17, 2009)
Opposition Backs Moseneke for Chief Justice
9. (U) Three opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA), the
Congress of the People (COPE) and the Independent Democrats (ID)
this week Zuma to reconsider his nomination for chief justice. The
parties urged Zuma to give the job to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang
Moseneke. In a joint statement the opposition said Moseneke has
been groomed for the position of chief justice for four years and
has all the experience required for it. Earlier this month the DA,
Cope and ID wrote to Zuma, complaining that he had ignored the
Constitution by only inviting their comment after nominating Judge
Sandile Ngcobo. (Mail and Guardian, August 19, 2009)
Gips

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