Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter August 23-August 29

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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

International News

Senior Foreign Policy Leader Meets with American Delegation

1. (U) Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
Ebrahim Ebrahim met with a visiting CODEL on August 20. The meeting
sought to bolster the partnership between the United States and
South Africa to deal with the priority issues of unemployment, job
creation, rural development, Justice, energy co-operation and food
security. Additionally, American officials met with Gauteng
Minister in the Executive Committee (MEC) for Finance and Economic
Development and attended a working lunch hosted by Deputy Minister
Andries Nel of the Department of Justice and Constitutional
Development in Cape Town on August 21. (DFA Briefing, 20 August)

Outcomes of Zuma's Trip to Angola Become Clearer

2. (U) During President Jacob Zuma's August 20-21 state visit to
Angola, Zuma met with Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos and
discussed a number of issues aimed at improving bi-lateral relations
between the two countries. The main themes included a desire to
strengthen the ties of political, economic, technical-scientific,
and cultural cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, trade,
industry, agriculture, health, sport and recreation, and oil and
gas. Various cooperation agreements were signed, namely in the
fields of "Regular Political Consultations," infrastructure,
industry, trade, sport and recreation, air services and human
settlements. The two leaders agreed to maintain a regular,
permanent dialogue in an effort to harmonize their position on
issues of bilateral and sub-regional interest in the field of
energy, taking into account the interests of both countries.
(Presidency, August 21)

Zuma in Zimbabwe

3. (U) President Zuma visited Zimbabwe August 27-28 to speak at the
country's farm trade show and to press for quicker action from the
unity government there. Zuma's trip follows a visit made by
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to South Africa three
weeks ago. Zuma discussed a number of issues with Mugabe and
Tsvangirai over the unity agreement. (AFP, August 24)

SADC Military Exercise Scheduled for September

4. (U) Eleven Southern African Development Community members will
commit about 6,500 troops, police and support staff to the Northern
Cape early next month as part of a SADC joint military exercise
called "Exercise Golfinho." The exercise is based on a fictional
country called the "Republic of Lohatlha," which suffers from
internal stabilization. Troops on land, in the air, and on the sea
will attempt to infiltrate and stabilize the rebel group. The
purpose of the exercise, which will also be acted out in Namibia's
Walvis Bay as the port of entry, is to test the SADC's abilities to
conduct a peacekeeping mission. (SAPA, August 19)

Domestic News

Congress of the People (COPE) Youth Angered by Purge Reports
5. (U) The Congress of the People's (COPE) youth wing is angry with
Q5. (U) The Congress of the People's (COPE) youth wing is angry with
allegations that the party's interim president, Mosiuoa Lekota, was
purging provincial leaders he suspects of supporting the parties
deputy, Mbhazima Shilowa, for the presidency of the party.
According to youth wing national coordinator Malusi Booi, Lekota
visited three provinces -- the Eastern Cape, North West and Northern
Cape last week, allegedly as part of his plan to catch his opponents
unprepared. A congress national committee (CNC) member told the
Mail & Guardian that Lekota's has already expelled four provincial
leaders -- Andile Nkuhlu (Eastern Cape), Nikiwe Num-Mangqo (North
West), Lawrence Khoza (Gauteng) and Mbulelo Ncedana (Western Cape).
In a presentation made to the congress working committee (CWC) last
Monday, the Eastern Cape leadership, led by Secretary Archie Ralo,
accused Lekota of undermining protocol through his "unpronounced,
unknown visit" to the three provinces. COPE National Spokesperson,
Phillip Dexter, defended Lekota's visits, saying they were
sanctioned by the CNC. Dexter said "It is no secret that he is

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visiting all provinces where the organization is functioning below
expectations. That includes swapping people around in leadership
positions." (Mail and Guardian August, 25, 2009)
Northwest ANC MEC in Trouble
6. (U) A Northwest African National Congress (ANC) MEC is in trouble
for allegedly accusing the Zuma government of not keeping its
electoral promise to prioritize education with adequate funding.
Johannes Tselapedi, the provincial MEC for Education, told delegates
at a meeting of the general council of the South Africa Democratic
Teachers' Union (SADTU) on Friday that the ANC's Polokwane
resolutions on public education system were unrealistic because
there was no budget for such goals. His statements have led the
Congress of South African Trade Unions and SADTU in Northwest to
call for his axing, saying he has embarrassed the ruling party. The
ANC last month disbanded its Northwest executive committee following
allegations that most of its members were COPE sympathizers. (The
Times, August, 24, 2009)
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Leader Says ANC Will Rule Forever
7. (U) Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi says
it will be a while until the ANC is no longer in power. Writing in
the IFP's weekly newsletter, he commented the ANC has used its 15
years in power wisely, thereby winning the hearts of the voters.
Buthelezi added that it was unlikely that the Democratic Alliance
(DA) would close the poll gap by defeating the ANC in the 2011
elections. His comments come as opposition parties plan to form a
united front for the 2011 local government elections and national
election in 2014. (Sowetan, August 25, 2009)
IFP Youth Brigade Nominates Musa Zondi for President
8. (U) The IFP Youth Brigade has proposed IFP General-Secretary
Musa Zondi as presidential candidate for the party's conference.
Brigade member Mkhuleko Hlengwa announced this at a media conference
in Durban. Hlengwa says Zondi is the only candidate who can
preserve the legacy of the party. She denied allegations that there
are divisions among the youth members, saying everyone is
collectively responsible of how the party performs in any election.
(SABCNEWS, August, 26, 2009)
Service Delivery protest in Rustenburg
9. (U) Rustenburg police fired rubber bullets and teargas to
disperse protesters who blocked a road in Ikageng near Rustenburg on
Tuesday. Constable Botshelo Mothutsane reported that 200 people
burned tires and blocked the road with stones to protest against the
lack of service delivery in the area. Fifty-six of protestors were
arrested and charged with public violence. (News 24, August,25,2009)

Police Brutality During Service Delivery Protests
10. (U) Poloffs attended a public lectured at the University of
Johannesburg this week where a sociology researcher from the
university told the audience the sociology department is
investigating cases of police brutality having occurred during the
service delivery protests. The researcher cited incidents in
Balfour were police fired rubber bullets at innocent civilians. The
researcher then asked ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, who was speaking
at the lecture, why the ANC did not condemn police brutality during
the protest. Mbete told the audience that the party was not aware
of police brutality but as soon as the research is completed the ANC
must be notified so it can comment accordingly. (August, 25, 2009)

© Scoop Media

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