Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter September 13-September

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1. (SBU) Written in partnership with the Open Source Center's
Pretoria Bureau, the POL 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

Domestic News

Nzimande Blames Mbeki for ANC Turmoil
2. (U) South African Communist Party (SACP) Secretary General Blade
Nzimande has blamed former president Thabo Mbeki for some of the
woes facing the African National Congress (ANC) and the country. In
a discussion paper for the SACP congress in December, Nzimande
accused Mbeki of "hijacking and frustrating the ANC developmental
agenda and replacing it with a pro-business program that has
frustrated the ANC's efforts of transforming the country." Nzimande
called on government to review all agencies established during the
Mbeki era and to close down irrelevant ones. He also warned that
remnants of Mbeki's supporters within the tripartite alliance could
frustrate President Jacob Zuma's service delivery agenda. (Sowetan,
September, 14, 2009)
Human Settlements Minister Visits Informal Settlement
3. (U) Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale visited residents
of Phola Park-Thokoza informal settlement on September 13 to learn
about service delivery challenges. The visit was in response to
calls by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in Ekurhuleni for the
dismissal of the executive mayor Ntombi Mekgwe and her mayoral
committee. The Minister held a special meeting with ANCYL leaders
at the Thokoza Hostel to discuss challenges concerning the residents
and then met with residents. The residents of Phola Park-Thokoza
complained about a lack of water, electricity, houses, jobs and
sanitation facilities in the area. This marked the sixth visits
Sexwale has made to informal settlements. In August, Sexwale
launched a nationwide fact-finding mission to uncover the reasons
behind the service delivery protests that rocked the country and to
assess the massive backlog in housing. (Buanews, September, 13,
Presidential Hotline Up and Running
4. (U) The presidential hotline went live on September 14.
Officers at the Union Buildings call center will handle calls and
respond to public inquiries. Citizens will be able to lodge their
queries by dialing the toll-free number. The Presidency says that
the next few weeks will be spent "perfecting the service and
ensuring that all technical and operating aspects work efficiently".
(The Star, September, 14, 2009)
Auditor-General to Turn Up the Heat on Delivery
5. (U) Auditor-General Terence Nombembe will put government
departments on the spot in March 2010 when his office releases a
report highlighting five years of service-delivery monitoring. The
report will provide the first detailed information on the extent to
which the government has delivered. The Auditor-General's office
has been gathering information for five years, long before this
year's formation of a Monitoring and Evaluation Department in the
Presidency under Collins Chabane. Nombembe declined to give any
hints of which departments were likely to feel the heat. (The
Times, September, 14, 2009)
SACP Leads the Eastern Cape
6. (U) Phumulo Masaulle of the SACP has been elected chairman of
Q6. (U) Phumulo Masaulle of the SACP has been elected chairman of
the ANC in Eastern Cape. Masualle, who is also Minister in the
Executive Committee for Health in Eastern Cape, secured 1041 votes,
beating Mcebisi Jonas by 930 votes. The provincial conference was
dominated by leadership contests, leading Zuma to issue a stern
warning to the delegates that the national executive committee would
take over the running of the province if "it failed to get its act
together." (Sowetan, September, 14, 2009)
ANC in Eastern Cape Plans to Recall Premier
7. (U) The ANC in Eastern Cape plans to recall Premier Noxolo
Kiviet following Phumulo Masualle's election to the position of
party provincial chairperson. The Sowetan reported that Masualle's
supporters plan to push a conference decision through a provincial
general council before December and recall Kiviet. The ANC's
provincial executive committee plans to devise a strategy to diffuse
tension between the parties to ensure there would be not be "two
centers of power" between the premier and the chairperson.
(Sowetan, September, 14, 2009)
International News

South Africa-China Dialogue to Proceed

8. (U) International Relations and Cooperation (DICO) Deputy
Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will co-chair the SA-China Strategic
Dialogue Forum on September 17. Minister Ebrahim will host his

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Chinese counterpart, Assistant Minister Zhai Jun. This session will
focus on reviewing bilateral relations, African Issues and China's
policy towards Africa, and multilateral cooperation and
international developments. The Dialogue also allows for the two
countries to discuss the status of structured bilateral engagements
such as the SA-China Bi-National Commission. (DICO Briefing,
September 15)

DICO Minister Visits Sudan

9. (U) DICO Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane visited Sudan September
17. She was accompanied by Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation
in the Presidency Collins Chabane and senior government officials.
During her visit, the Minister was expected to hold discussions with
her Sudanese counterpart on Post Conflict Reconstruction and
Development (PCRD), the conflict in Darfur, the 2010 election and
other matters related to the implementation of the Sudan
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Minister Nkoana-Mashabane
returned to South Africa on September 17 ahead of the 64th Session
of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (DICO Briefing,
September 14)

Kenyan Electoral Commission visits South African Electoral

10. (U) Five members of the Kenyan Electoral Commission beginning
on September 14 visited with members of the South African Electoral
Commission in order to learn how to conduct free, fair and
transparent elections. The Kenyan Electoral Commission is
reorganizing itself following post election violence over a year ago
which left over 1,000 people dead. Kenya has also sent missions to
Ghana, Rwanda, India and Brazil. (Eyewitness News, September 16).

RSA's International Relations Minister to Call on Sudan's Al-Bashir

ZANU-PF to Discuss Moyo's Application for Readmission
11. (U) Zimbabwe's pro-government newspaper The Herald reported on
15 September that the Zanu-PF Politburo will deliberate on an
application for readmission into the party by independent House of
Assembly Member for Tsholotsho North constituency and former
Information and Publicity Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo when it
next sits. In an interview on 14 September, Zanu-PF secretary for
administration Cde [Comrade] Didymus Mutasa confirmed the
development and described Prof Moyo as an "important asset" to the
party. [Harare The Herald Online in English -- Website of
pro-government newspaper published daily except Sunday; URL:]
RSA Minister Briefs Media on US Climate Change Talks
12. (U) Environment Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said it was unrealistic
for developing countries to commit to carbon emission targets
because of their economic status, reported privately-owned daily
Business Day 16 September. Briefing reporters in Kempton Park,
Sonjica said the government would not sign any deal at the upcoming
climate change conference that would compromise SA's economic
development chances. "We know we are culprits in emitting carbon
because we generate our energy from coal (but) SA is a country
with...socioeconomic issues. A sizeable amount of our population is
without electricity so you have to factor all those issues before
you can move away from coal completely." [Johannesburg Business Day
Online in English -- Website of privately owned regional newspaper;

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Kazakhstan: Bachelet Urges Peaceful Resolution Of Grievances
Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>

Afghanistan: Economy In ‘Freefall’, Threatening To Take Entire Population With It

Afghanistan’s economy is in “free fall”, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told a special meeting on Sunday, warning that if decisive and compassionate action is not taken immediately, it may “pull the entire population with it”... More>>