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Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter September 20-25

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TAGS: KDEM PGOV ASEC SF POL PAS ECON
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA POLITICAL NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 20-25

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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 intelink.gov.

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Domestic News
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COSATU Presses ANC for Ruling Alliance Summit
2. (U) At the annual Congress of the Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU), COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi called for
the withdrawal of a Green Paper on Strategic Planning tabled by the
Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel. COSATU accused Manuel of
over-stepping his authority and marginalizing ruling alliance
members COSATU and the South African Communist Party (SACP). COSATU
charged that the former finance minister's plans, if implemented,
would make Manuel the country's de-facto Prime Minister. The
African National Congress National Executive Committee (ANC NEC),
which had previously endorsed the Green Paper, agreed to a ruling
alliance (ANC-COSATU-SACP) summit to discuss the document. (The
Times, September, 20, 2009)

Suspension of Local Officials Compounds Service Delivery Problems
3. (U) According to an analysis done by the Cooperative Governance
and Traditional Affairs department, the mass suspension of top
officials following a wave of service delivery protests has harmed
service delivery. The analysis shows that the suspension of senior
staffers without immediate replacement has affected service delivery
targets in affected municipalities. Cooperative Governance and
Traditional Affairs departmental spokesman Simphiwe Kunene told
local media that on the basis of these findings, his department
would provide experts and support to strengthen the capacities of
all under staffed municipalities by December. (The Times, September,
25, 2009)

Defense Minister Appoints Military Service Commission; Bows to
Pressure to Keep Military Unions
4. (U) Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu
announced on September 21 the appointment of a ten-member Military
Service Commission to regulate the conditions of service of all
South African National Defense Force (SANDF) personnel. Sisulu
announced that the Military Service Commission will be chaired by
High Court Judge Ronnie Bosielo, who would assist in developing new
military standards for salaries, recruitment, transfers, promotions
and dismissals. Sisulu insisted that the commission would not
replace military unions but would create a separate bargaining
chamber for soldiers. Commission members include United Democratic
Front Leader Bantu Holimisa, Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter
Groenewald, and ANC MP Hlengiwe Mgabadeli.

Controversial Judge Hlophe Fails to Secure Constitutional Court
Nomination
5. South Africa's Judicial Service Commission put an end to months
of controversy and agonized debate on the politicization of the
judiciary when it released its short list of candidate for the
Constitutional Court. The name of Cape Judge President John Hlophe,
accused of lobbying the court on behalf of then-ANC President Jacob
Zuma, who then faced corruption charges, was not among the seven
candidates recommended for appointment to South Africa's highest
court (Pretoria News, September 22.
------------------
Q------------------
International News
------------------

UNGA, G-20, Africa-South America Summit

6. (U) President Jacob Zuma, supported by International Relations
and Cooperation (DIRCO) Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Water and
Environmental Affairs Minister, Buyelwa Sonjica, Health Minister,
Aaron Motsoaledi and Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma and Senior Government officials, led South Africa's
delegation to the 64th Session of the United Nations General
Assembly (UNGA) in New York from September 21 - 25. Minister Nkoana
Mashabane left New York to attend the Second Africa - South America
Ministerial meeting in Venezuela on September 24 - 25, to be joined
by President Zuma for the summit scheduled to take place from
September 26 - 27. (DIRCO Briefing, September 24)


South Africa- Iran Ministerial Working Group

7. (U) DIRCO Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim will lead a
South African delegation to the fourth meeting of the SA- Iran

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Deputy Ministerial Working Group scheduled to take place on
September 28 - 29. Ebrahim's visit comes within the context of
South Africa's commitment to cooperation with Iran especially in
trade and economic matters within the framework of South-South
Cooperation. The fourth SA-Iran Ministerial Working Group meeting
will discuss the following issues: bilateral and economic relations
between two countries; developments in Africa and the Middle East
and regional cooperation; human rights, social and health issues;
international cooperation, trade and security. (DIRCO Briefing,
September 25)

Gips

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