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Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter October 5-October 9

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SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA POLITICAL NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 5-OCTOBER 9

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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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Domestic News
-------------

RSA: Convicted Drug Dealer Gives 'Damning' Evidence against Former
Police Chief

2. (U) Pretoria News reported on 7 October that convicted drug
trafficker Glenn Agliotti led damning evidence against one-time
friend, former police chief Jackie Selebi, yesterday [6 Oct],
detailing how approximately R1 million was made in corrupt payments.
The Johannesburg High Court also heard more claims made against
former chief prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka. Agliotti's friendship with
Selebi was a lucrative investment that earned him millions - if his
testimony is to be believed. As the self-appointed gatekeeper to the
country's former top cop, Agliotti commanded massive "consultancy
fees" from the Kebble family and former fugitive businessman Billy
Rautenbach. [Pretoria Pretoria News Online in English -- Website of
local daily, privately owned by Independent Newspaper Company; URL:
http://www.pretorianews.co.za/]

Minister Blames Protests on Mismanagement, Fraud
3. (U) Financial mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in all three
spheres of government are partly to blame for the wave of service
delivery protests, according to Cooperative Governance and
Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim. He told a public
forum on October 6 that service delivery is unlikely to improve
unless the financial management of municipalities is improved.
Carrim's remarks come after a number of service delivery protests in
Sakhile and Buhle Pak. (October, 6, 2009)

Civil Society Welcomes Government's Handling of AIDS Crisis

4. (U) The AIDS Law Project has welcomed government's recent
admission that the AIDS pandemic in this country is not being
properly tackled. Earlier this week, Health Minister Aaron
Motsoaledi released a 2008 survey on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in
pregnant women. The Survey revealed around 29 percent of pregnant
women are HIV-positive. In response to the survey's release, the
AIDS Law Project said it was encouraged by Motsoaledi's admission
that the situation is serious and praised his approach in contrast
to the previous Health Minister. (Eyewitness, October, 07, 2009)

------------------
International News
------------------


Human Rights Watch Wants SAG Involvement in Congo (Kinshasa)

5. (U) Human Rights Watch has urged the South African Government to
re-engage in Congo (Kinshasa) to help stop an increasing epidemic of
violence against civilians in the unstable east of the country.
(IOL, October 7)

Motlanthe Travels to Sweden

6. (U) Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe visited Sweden beginning
on October 9, holding meetings with Swedish officials and attending
the Olof Palme Day Conference in Stockholm. (The Presidency,
October 7)

SAG Prepares for Zuma's Visit to Brazil

7. (U) Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane departed for Brazil on October 6 to
prepare for President Jacob Zuma's state visit held from October
8-9. Zuma's visit takes place within the context of consolidating
Q8-9. Zuma's visit takes place within the context of consolidating
South-South cooperation, strengthening the existing bilateral ties
and regional partnership, and deepening cooperation on the
trilateral and multilateral levels between South Africa and Brazil.
Two agreements are expected to be signed, including a memorandum
between the respective Departments of Trade and Industry on the
Promotion of Trade and Investment and an agreement on sports
cooperation for the years 2009-2011 between the respective
Ministries of Sport. (DIRCO Briefings, October 6-7)

DIRCO Deputy Off on European Tour

8. (U) DIRCO Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe arrived in Belgium
on October 5 on a tri-nation visit that includes stops in Lithuania

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and Latvia. In Belgium, van der Merwe will meet with EU senior
officials and focus on relations between the Southern African
Customs Union and the European Union, the Climate Summit to be held
in Copenhagen, and South African Partnership Development Agency.
Van der Merwe's visit to Lithuania comes within the context of
strengthening bilateral relations, consolidating current trade and
economic co-operation, and deepening multilateral cooperation
between South Africa African and Lithuania. In addition, the visit
is aimed at mapping out a well-defined co-operative framework
between the two countries. Four draft Bilateral Agreements between
South Africa and Lithuania are presently under consideration. Van
der Merwe's last stop, to Latvia, will include a meeting with State
Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andries Teikmanis. Van
der Merwe's visit takes place within the context of consolidating
bilateral relations and promoting bilateral economic relations; a
number of bilateral agreements between the two countries remain
under consideration. (DIRCO Briefing, October 5)

RSA: Trade Minister Says Doha Round Must Consider Needs of
Developing Countries

9. (U) SAPA reported on 5 October that Minister of Trade and
Industry Rob Davies said the current trade-negotiation round of the
World Trade Organization (WTO), the Doha round, must take into
account the needs of developing countries. "We are not demanding a
particular time period... rather we want the deal to be faithful to
the mandate of development," he told the media in Johannesburg after
his recent visit to the US to attend a business summit. Davies said
their major focus was now on South-South trade. [Description of
Source: Johannesburg SAPA in English -- Cooperative, nonprofit
national news agency, South African Press Association; URL:
http://www.sapa.org.za]

Mugabe Says Zimbabwe Ready To Establish 'Fresh' Relations With West

10. (U) On 6 October Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said that his
country was ready for "fresh and cooperative relations" with Western
nations that have spearheaded global condemnation of his rule,
reported AFP. "Our country remains in a positive stance to enter
into fresh and cooperative relations with all those countries that
have been hostile to us in the past," he said in opening a new
session of parliament. "Our re-engagement with the EU bloc is
gathering momentum," he added. [Description of Source: Paris AFP
(World Service) in English -- world news service of the independent
French news agency Agence France Presse]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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