Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter December 7-December 11

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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

International News

Zuma Says Long-Term Financing Package for Adaptation, Mitigation
"Central" to Copenhagen Talks

2. (U) On December 9, Johannesburg SABC 3 Television said climate
change also dominated President Jacob Zuma's State Visit to Zambia.
He will reportedly advocate Africa's position in Copenhagen next
week, seek support from peers, and insist on a commitment from
global powers. Zuma said the impact of global warming was
undermining the continent's developmental agenda. He said, "Our
view is that an ambitious and long-term financing package for both
adaptation and mitigation is a central element of the Copenhagen
negotiations, and one that will have significant impact on the
extent to which developing countries can take mitigation action."
[English-language television channel, nominally independent but
partially funded by government]

Civil Society Groups Laud RSA's Pledge To Reduce Greenhouse Gas

3. (U) On December 9, The Durban Mercury reported the South African
Presidency's announcement that the nation would cut emissions below
anticipated trends by "around 34 percent by 2020 and by around 42
percent by 2025," although this was "conditional on pledges by
developed countries." This is the first time that Africa's largest
emitter has put actual emissions-reduction figures on the table, and
came ahead of the opening of the two-week UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change talks in Copenhagen aimed at getting a legally
binding agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Tasneem
Essop, World Wildlife Fund South Africa's climate change policy
activist, said this pledge was an "example of emerging economies
contributing in a meaningful way to secure a successful outcome in
Copenhagen," adding that collective offers by countries like Brazil,
India, China, South Korea, Indonesia and South Africa on actions to
limit their emissions growth "represent more tons of carbon
reductions than what industrialized countries have offered thus
far." The report added that meanwhile, developed countries have not
yet responded to South Africa's announcement about its intentions to
limit growth by 2025. [The Durban Mercury Online in English --
Website of regional KwaZulu-Natal newspaper, privately-owned by
Independent Newspaper Company; URL:]

Zambia, RSA Sign Six Agreements To Enhance Economic Development

4. (U) ZNBC Television reported that Zambia and South Africa signed
six Memoranda of Understanding [MoU] on 8 December, which were aimed
at enhancing bilateral economic development. These included regular
diplomatic consultations, trade and industrial development
cooperation, agriculture and livestock, health, energy, and
geological, mining, and minerals. Zambian President Rupiah Banda
stressed that "these MoUs have a purpose, and those purposes are to
be implemented." President Jacob Zuma invited Banda to visit South
Africa to "take further" the issues discussed.
QAfrica to "take further" the issues discussed.
[Government-controlled national television station]

South Africa Meets with Swiss Government

5. (U) Department of International Relations and Cooperation
(DIRCO) Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim co-chaired the Second South
Africa-Switzerland Annual consultations with the State Secretary of
the Confederation of Switzerland Michael Amb|hl in Pretoria on
December 7. The consultation took place within the context of the
North-South Dialogue and was aimed at deepening bilateral relations
between the two countries. The two sides discussed cooperation in
science and technology, bilateral development, preparations for the
2010 World Cup. Additionally, the two countries exchanged views on
issues related to the entire African continent. (DIRCO Briefing,
December 7)

Domestic News

Minister Tackles Homes Affairs Corruption

6. (U) Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has launched a

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series of investigations into fraudulent and corrupt activities in
the Department of Home Affairs. Home Affairs will investigate
fraudulent registration of births and the illegal issuing of
identity documents and passports to foreign nationals. More than 31
Home Affairs officials have been suspended. The suspended officials
from Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Limpopo offices,
joined a list of 28 more officials who were fired in November. This
brings the total number of suspended officials since November to 59.
Dlamini-Zuma told reporters that corruption in Home Affairs is a
serious threat to national security. She noted that it undermines
the stability of democracy and costs the state thousands of dollars.
More importantly, fraudulent IDs give criminals the power to apply
for South African passports which are then used for criminal
activities abroad, she added. (Buanews, December 11, 2009)

By-Elections in KwaZulu-Natal Favor Inkatha Freedom Party and
Democratic Alliance

7. (U) The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Democratic Alliance
(DA) won by-elections held in KwaZulu-Natal. The IFP won two wards
in Eshowe and Mbabazane, while the DA won one ward in the Hibiscus
Coast, Port Shepstone. The elections were well organized and no
incidents of violence were reported said the Independent Electoral
Commission (IEC) Chief Electoral Officer Mawethu Mosery. Mosery
reported that the DA has increased its voter base from 849 votes to
1209 voters since the 2006 local government elections, while the IFP
has lost voters from 5 percent in the local government elections to
0.8 percent. The African National Congress (ANC) also suffered a
sharp decline from 41.4 percent to 29.9 percent in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mosery noted that trends indicate that South Africa is moving toward
a political landscape dominated by the ANC and the DA. (Sowetan,
December 10, 2009)

Prosecuting Authority Supports Re-Introducing Specialized Units

8. (U) The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) supports the
government's decision to re-introduce specialised units, including
the Child Protection Unit. The NPA's Sexual Offences and Community
Affairs Unit Head Thoko Majokweni told reporters that the
specialized units worked well and that there has been a performance
gap since the units were disbanded. The NPA intends intensifying
its programs to deal with human trafficking, domestic violence and
sexual offences. (Eyewitness News, December 11, 2009).

DA to challenge Simelane's appointment

9. (U) DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will lodge
papers in the North Gauteng High Court in protest against Menzi
Simelane's appointment as NPA head. Simelane's appointment in late
November was met by a storm of controversy. The DA believes
Simelane's appointment as National Director of Public Prosecutions
is unlawful and improper. Zille will lead the party's approach to
the court to challenge the appointment. A complaint laid with the
General Council of the Bar against Simelane is also still pending.
Simelane's conduct as Justice Department Director-General was
criticized by former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala during the
inquiry into whether former NPA boss Vusi Pikoli was fit to hold
office. (Eyewitness News, December 10, 2009)

ANCYL Leader Says IFP No Longer Political Force; Provokes Buthelezi

10. (U) ISOLEZWE in Zulu reported on 7 December that ANC Youth
League leader Julius Malema has provoked IFP President Dr.
QLeague leader Julius Malema has provoked IFP President Dr.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi "again" by saying that he was made by the ANC,
but then went astray. Malema said this on December 6 in Qalakahle,
Ndwedwe, while handing over a home to the family of Mthokozisi
Nkwanyana, who died during the August demonstrations at University
of South Africa [UNISA]. He said that the IFP was no longer a
political force and should stop provoking people. Malema said that
"KwaZulu-Natal would never return into the hands of these people,
who did not know politics." He added: "We do not fear the IFP."
This is not the first time Malema took a shot at Buthelezi. He had
previously said that when canvassing for votes, they would go
straight to Buthelezi's home and take all his children and make them
a part of the ANC. The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal responded by saying
that Malema is a person who voices any thoughts he has.
[Mainstream independent daily newspaper focused on the Zulu
community of KwaZulu-Natal, privately owned by the Independent Group
of newspapers]

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


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Focus On: UN SDGs

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