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Cablegate: South Africa: Political Newsletter November 20-27

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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 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

Home Affairs works on new migration policy

2. Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced
that her department is working on developing a new migration policy
to help government distinguish between economic migrants and
asylum-seekers. Dlamini-Zuma, consulting various stakeholders, met
with COSATU in Johannesburg. Once the process of consultation is
completed, the Minister will present the proposals to both Cabinet
and Parliament for approval and implementation. This takes place
against the background of the approval granted by Cabinet for the
Minister to develop a new migration policy," according to a
statement issued by the department. November, 25, 2009, Buanews

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SAPS to be assisted by specialized units

3. Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa announced that the South
African Police Service (SAPS) will be deploying members of
specialized tactical teams to provide operational support at grass
roots level. According to Mthethwa, the deployment of these units
is part of the SAPS turnaround strategy adopted after the release of
crime statistics in October, and is intended to enhance techniques
aimed at fighting crime. Tactical teams will be deployed in some
business areas, particularly in informal and small businesses, and
residential areas where house robberies are taking place. Crime
experts have welcomed the deployment of tactical teams to local
police stations, calling it "a right move" for government. Analysts
have expressed their confidence in this decision but emphasized that
it would need strategic coordination to ensure that the units work
cooperatively to stamp out criminals. (November, 24, 2009, Buanews)

Scopa calls for Balfour's head

4. Government's watchdog standing committee on public accounts
(Scopa) called on President Jacob Zuma to recall former Prisons
Minister Ngconde Balfour from the former Minister's current post as
Ambassador to Botswana. Themba Godi, head of Scopa, told reporters
that the President must show his seriousness about fighting
corruption and deal with Balfour. This comes after the special
investigation unit's (SIU) report released in Parliament last week.
The SIU's three-year investigation found that alleged corruption to
the value of R2,1 million took place in the Correctional Services
Department while Balfour was Minister.( November,24,2009,Sowetan)

Men called on to respect women

5. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has challenged South African
men to lead this year's 16 Days of Activism against Women and Child
Abuse campaign. The drive kicked off on Wednesday and will end on
December 10. It is primarily focused on generating an increased
awareness of the negative impact of violence on women and children.
(November, 24, 2009, Eyewitness)

International News

6. (U) The South African government expressed its concern at the
latest round of Israeli settlement activities in East Jerusalem and
registered its condemnation of Israel's approval of 900 new
Qregistered its condemnation of Israel's approval of 900 new
settlement units in the settlement of Gilo, south of East Jerusalem.
South Africa emphasized that the issue of Jerusalem is one of the
final status issues that needs to be part of a negotiated solution
to the conflict in the Middle East. The South African government
called upon the Israeli government to cease settler activities that
are reminiscent of apartheid forced removals and resume negotiations
immediately. (DIRCO Briefing 24 November 2009)

7. (U) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation
(DIRCO) together with the "Embassy" of Palestine in South Africa and
the Office of the United Nations in South Africa hosted an annual
event to celebrate United Nations International Day of Solidarity
with the people of Palestine on November 25. The event included a
seminar with many panelists from both South Africa and Palestine.
(DIRCO Briefing, November 25)

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8. (U) President Zuma received King Harald V and Queen Sonja of
Norway for a State Visit November 24-26. Zuma was supported by
Minister for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane
as Acting Minister of International Relations and Cooperation;
Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Higher
Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande; Minister of Energy, Ms
Dipuo Peters; Minister of Environmental and Water Affairs, Ms
Buyelwa Sonjica; Minister of Land Affairs and Rural Development,
Minister Gugile Nkwinti; and Minister of Science and Technology; Ms
Naledi Pandor. The visit comes within the context of North-South
Dialogue and further maintaining the already strong bilateral
relationship between South Africa and Norway.
President Zuma and King Harald were expected to discuss:

--International Relations and Cooperation- Declaration of Intent on
Bilateral Cooperation 2010-2014, including the importance of
partnerships in Africa and trilateral cooperation and Climate change

--Education and Science & Technology- Cooperation in higher
education and research

--Energy- MOU to be signed by SASOL and Gassnova and the Norwegian
involvement in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

--Trade and Industry- Cooperation in mutual trade and investments.
(DIRCO Briefing, November 24).


© Scoop Media

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