Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter

DE RUEHSA #2656/01 3620556
R 280556Z DEC 09



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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

Domestic News

Groundswell of Opposition to Communists within ANC Reportedly

2. (SBU) Mail and Guardian reports that the booing of ANC Youth
League President Julius Malema by delegates at the South African
Communist Party's [SACP] special conference in Polokwane has
intensified a "groundswell" of opposition to communists within the
ANC. The report notes that the growing hostility towards the left
is manifested by the mounting pressure on Gwede Mantashe to choose
between his two roles -- as ANC secretary general and as the SACP
chairperson. The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) accused Mantashe of
failing to defend Malema because of his conflicting roles, something
that ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe has acknowledged as a
concern. ANC president Jacob Zuma has instructed the delegation to
the conference to submit a full report on the booing incident to
enable the NEC to engage the SACP early next year. The notion that
the leftist alliance partners are bent on seizing control of the ANC
has long caused tensions within the ANC-led alliance. There are
rumors as of December 24 that there are going to be special
"Christmas meetings" between member of the ruling alliance to work
through differences ahead of the ANC's anniversary celebrations on
January 9. [Johannesburg Mail & Guardian in English --
privately-owned weekly investigative newspaper]

International News

3. (SBU) Begin text of President Zuma's Address to UN Climate Change

18 DECEMBER 2009 Excellencies, Your Majesties, We have all gathered
here because we understand the enormous challenge we face as a
result of climate change. A lot of work has been done over a period
of time by our negotiators as well as the United Nations to assist
the world to reach agreement. Climate change is a practical matter
for the developing world, especially Africa. For countries such as
South Africa, weather patterns in coastal provinces are already
wreaking havoc on the lives of our people, which makes this
challenge a reality that we are already confronting.

We came here knowing that reaching an agreement would be critical
for future generations to avoid fundamental and irreversible changes
in climate. We knew that the outcome of this Conference would have
to give effect to the principle of common but differentiated
responsibility enshrined in the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change. Some facts are already well known. Developed countries are
historically responsible for 80 percent of the current emissions in
the atmosphere. Developing countries are most affected by climate
change. As they justifiably pursue their own development paths, it
is expected that developing countries' emissions will increase. In
the long-term, we need an agreement that recognizes the common
responsibility of all nations to reduce emissions, while not
retarding the development of developing countries. Our view remains
that all developed countries must commit to ambitious, legally
Qthat all developed countries must commit to ambitious, legally
binding emission reduction targets, in with historical
responsibility and in line with needs of science. Developing
countries should commit to nationally appropriate mitigation action,
to achieve a decline in emissions relative to business as
usual. This would be conditional on finance, technology and
capacity building support from developed countries. Developing
countries are ready to play their part in reducing global emissions,
but obviously rich
countries have to take the lead. With financial and technological
support from developed countries, South Africa for example will be
able to reduce emissions by 34% below 'business as usual' levels by
2020 and by 42% by 2025. We wanted a complete, legally binding
agreement, but accept the progress that has been made in COP 15. We
support the fact that parties will continue negotiating two
complementary binding instruments: one under the UN Convention and
one under the Kyoto Protocol. We have made progress in that we have
been able to isolate the areas of agreement and disagreement. We
need to move with speed to finalise the areas of disagreement, in
order to conclude a legally binding agreement for the sake of future
generations. We, the leaders of the world, need to seize our

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historical responsibility to act now to safeguard the future of
humanity and the planet it inhabits. We owe it to current and
generations. I thank you.

End Text.

"Marooned" Rival Madagascar Political Negotiators To Return To
Country on December 18

4. (SBU) AFP reports that Madagascar's rival opposition leaders
were allowed to return to the country on 18 December after being
"marooned" in Mozambique last week. The opposition leaders were
prevented from flying home following a series of talks in the
capital Maputo on the sharing of transitional government posts in a
bid to solve the island nation's political crisis. Andry Rajoelina,
who seized power with the backing of the army last March, boycotted
the talks, reacting "furiously" against an arrangement that he
claimed demoted him to the same level as other faction leaders. His
rivals were reportedly due to fly back to Madagascar on a specially
chartered Air Madagascar plane on 15 December, but this flight was
not authorized by the civil aviation authority. Rajoelina announced
that parliamentary elections will be held in March 2010. [AFP (World
Service) in English -- world news service of the independent French
news agency Agence France Presse]


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
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UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Save The Children: One Year Under Taliban Rule, Girls Are More Isolated, Hungry, Sad: New Report
One year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an economic crisis, crippling drought and new restrictions have shattered girls’ lives, excluding them from society and leaving them hungry...

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>

Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>