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Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter November 9-November 13

DE RUEHSA #2314/01 3171445
R 131445Z NOV 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

02266, PRETORIA 02267

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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 i6Q*Q}th Africa," found on

Domestic News

Weekly Says President Zuma Faces Real Challenge Over Feuding Police

2. (U) Sunday Times reports that the political fallout between
police minister Nathi Mthethwa and his deputy, Fikile Mbalula, has
exposed a "dangerous zone" which President Jacob Zuma created when
he picked the members of his cabinet after the elections. Mbalula -
by virtue of his position as ANC head of campaigns and power base -
felt that he was senior to Mthethwa, while it was inevitable that
Mthethwa would assume seniority over Mbalula by his appointment to a
full cabinet position. The report further states that the danger of
this conflict is that it has the potential to seriously weaken the
war on crime and is "surely" going to pose a serious test of Zuma's
leadership. Both Mthethwa and Mbalula are known to be fierce Zuma
loyalists and were instrumental in weakening former President Thabo
Mbeki's grip. Mbalula has discounted this report, but speculation
continues that there is a rift between the two ministers.
[Website of privately owned Sunday newspaper; URL:]

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ANC Warns Youth Leader Malema Against Push for Nationalization of

3. (U) Sunday Times rep/q"g&vtreportedly told Malema to follow proper party
processes and said that ANC policy could only be changed at the
party's national general council or its policy conference. South
African Communist Party leader Jeremy Cronincautioned against te
nationalizatio of mines, saying that the move could deplete the
national budget, but reiterated that state ownership of mines -
favored by communists - was "not necessarily" a progressive
socialist measure. The report further notes that Cronin asserted
that there was a need for a comprehensive discussion of how mining
assets could be used to drive development, ensuring it is
"nationalization with compensation, not with expropriation".
[Website of privately owned Sunday newspaper; URL:]

State to Drop Willing Buyer, Willing Seller Concept, Speed Up Land

4. (U) Business Report reports that the government indicated
yesterday that the "willing-buyer, willing-seller" concept for land
redistribution would be "ditched" in favor of a system of average
hectare price offers and expropriation due to the delay in the
process. During a 10 November briefing, Rural Development and Land
Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said that the deadline for
transferring agricultural land to the previously disadvantaged - set
for 20Qj8
discussions with farmers' unions were fruitful in establishing
average prices of farmland per hectare, which would assist in
speeding up land reform in the future. The report highlighted that
only about 5 percent of land had been transferred, with 87 percent
of land still in the hands of the minority; however, the minister
reiterated his commitment to avoid a repeat of the experience of
Zimbabwe - where the land issue had led to significant
"polarisation". [Website of business and financial publication,
privately owned by Independent Newspaper Company; URL:]

ANC Youth League Leader Malema Receives Police Protection

5. (U) Beeld reports that Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa approved
police protection for ANC Youth League President Julius Malema at a
cost of 300,000 [roughly $ 43,000] rand per month despite Malema not
being a government official. Zweli Mnisi, spokesman for the Police
Minister, said Malema informed the ministry that he "believes his
life is in danger."Mnisi went on to explain that "any South African

PRETORIA 00002314 002.2 OF 003

who believes that his life was in danger can request for VIP
protection." When asked to comment Malema told Beeld that "No, no,
no, I don't discuss security issues." The Democratic Alliance's
spokesperson for security, Dianne Kohler Barnard, said it is
"ridiculous" that Malema is receiving police protection while he is
"not a MP or even of a provincial legislature. He is not even a
member of the executive authority." [Description of Source: Pretoria
Beeld in Afrikaans -- Privately-owned national daily newspaper,
targeting liberal-minded Afrikaners]

COSATU Unhappy with African National Congress (ANC) Decision

6. (U) Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) spokesperson
Patrick Craven said on November 11 the labor federation felt the
African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC)
took the "wrong decision" to endorse Trevor Manuel as the
chairperson of the National Planning Commission (NPC). COSATU has
vowed to continue opposing the ANC's decision to endorse Manuel as
chair of the new commission and COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima
Vavi said promised to raise their concerns during the alliance
summit beginning on November 13. (Sowetan, November 12, 2009)

Inkatha Freedom Party Youth Leader Suspended

7. (U) Inkatha Freedom Party Youth Brigade (IFPYB) Chairperson Muzi
Simelane has been suspended after he was accused of allegedly
instigating the youth brigade to support Zanele Magwaza-Msibi for
presidency when Mangosuthu Buthelezi retires. IFP Provincial
Secretary Bonginkosi Buthelezi told local newspapers that Simelane
has been suspended with immediate effect after he was found guilty
by the party's disciplinary committee. Simelane said he will be
suspended for three years and his membership was withdrawn. The IFP
Youth Brigade is divided between supporters of party secretary Musa
Zondi and Magwaza-Msibi. (Sowetan, November 11, 2009)

Development Bank of Southern Africa Uses State Funds to Fund Hotels

8. (U) The Development Bank of Southern Africa is dishing out
millions of dollars in loans to private companies in which its
directors own shares. The Bank's annual reports show that it gave
loans to hotel groups and Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment
investment funds. The state-owned bank is meant to provide loans to
municipalities for service delivery, so giving loans to six-star
hotels under the guise of tourism has raised questions among
opposition parliamentarians and the media. (Sowetan, November 12,

International News

Zuma Named African President of the Year

9. (U) President Jacob Zuma has been named the "2009 African
President of the Year" and received the award on November 10. The
award was founded by the African Consciousness Media and the Kenneth
Kaunda Foundation in recognition of African leaders. (Eyewitness
News, November 11)

COSATU Shows Solidarity with Zimbabwe Trade Union

10. (U) COSATU on November 10 called on the Zimbabwean Government
to release Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) President
Lovemore Matombo. The ZCTU leader and two of his colleagues were
arrested in Victoria Falls on November 8. (Eyewitness News,
November 10)

Ebrahim Ebrahim Learns More About the International Criminal Court

11. (U) Department of International Relations and Cooperation
(DIRCO) Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim received International
Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on November
QCriminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on November
10 in Cape Town. The meeting between Ebrahim and Moreno-Ocampo
covered a number of issues including the work of the ICC and current
investigations, particularly ones in Africa. The meeting also
touched on the upcoming Review Conference of the Rome Statute in
2010. Moreno-Ocampo expressed his hope that "Africa will play a key
role during this process." Ebrahim confirmed that preparations for
Africa's participation at this Review are already underway and
re-iterated the South Africa's commitment to honor its international
obligations including the Rome Statutes of the ICC. (DIRCO
Briefing, November 10)

IFP Leader Plans to Discuss Tibet

12. (U) The Chinese Government is attempting to persuade IFP leader

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Mangosuthu Buthelezi not to attend a summit of world leaders in Rome
to discuss China's rule of Tibet. China's Consul General, Liu
Yantao, allegedly wrote a letter to Buthelezi asking him not to take
part in the summit scheduled to take place in late November.
Buthelezi, who is a friend of the Dalai Lama, has refused to turn
down the invitation. There also are rumors that the Chinese
Government has attempted to persuade the South African government to
block Buthelezi from attending the conference. (SAPA, November 12)

DIRCO Minister Visits Sri Lanka . . .

13. (U) DIRCO Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, supported by senior
government officials, undertook an official visit to Sri Lanka
November 11-12. The visit was undertaken within the context of
deepening South-South cooperation and strengthening bilateral
relations between South Africa and Sri Lanka. In addition, the
visit afforded Nkoana-Mashabane an opportunity for greater
understanding of the political, social and economic dynamics in Sri
Lanka following the end of the civil war there in May 2009. During
the visit, discussions focused on bilateral relations, dates for a
South Africa-Sri Lanka Partnership Forum in 2010, regional issues,
and multilateral cooperation. (DIRCO Briefing, November 9)

. . . Then Off to India

14. (U) Nkoana-Mashabane intends to visit India following her visit
to Sri Lanka. Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to participate in the
Regional Heads of Mission Conference scheduled for November 13-14
during her time in India. The visit is aimed at strengthening
bilateral relations between South Africa and India and to signal
South Africa's commitment to the continuation of the strategic
partnership with India within the context of South-South
cooperation. During the visit, discussions between Nkoana-Mashabane
and her Indian counterpart will focus in part on preparations for
the State Visit of President Zuma to India in 2010. (DIRCO
Briefing, November 11)

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