Cablegate: South Africa Political Newsletter January 11-January 15

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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

President Jacob Zuma Says ANC Not To "Co-Govern" With Alliance

2. (SBU) The South African Press Agency (SAPA) reports that
President Jacob Zuma stated that the African National Congress (ANC)
would cooperate but not "co-govern" with its alliance partners.
According to SAPA, Zuma said that the political alliance between the
African National Congress, South African Communist Party (SACP) and
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) with its discussions
and cooperation would "absolutely" continue, but warned against
"mistaking" consultations and discussions with co-governance. The
President added that including the SACP into more ANC governance
could lead to the weakening of the former, and noted that "there are
matters that the party has to take as a party." In recent weeks,
tensions have been increasing within the alliance, with the SACP and
COSATU demanding greater influence. [Description of source:
Johannesburg SAPA in English -- Cooperative, nonprofit national news
agency, South African Press Association; URL:]

World Cup Body Says Prepared For "Any Eventuality" Despite Attack in

3. (SBU) SAPA's press release service link2media reported that the
2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee South Africa (OC) "strongly
condemns" the "terrorist" attack on the Togolese national team in
Angola, stating that there is "no link" between the incident and
South Africa's preparations to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The
committee dismissed attempts to compare organization and security in
Angola with South Africa "just because the two countries happen to
be in the same region", but highlighted that South Africa is
"prepared for any eventuality". The report noted that Africa has
hosted three successful FIFA events in the last eight months - the
FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa and the U17 and U19 World
Cup's in Nigeria and Egypt. South Africa is scheduled to host the
2010 FIFA World Cup in June 2010 amid heightened security.
[Description of source: Johannesburg link2media in English -- Press
release service of the nonprofit press agency SAPA, known as SAPA

Home Affairs Officials Confiscate "Fraudulent" Passports at Ports of

4. (SBU) SAfm reported that the South African Department of Home
Affairs has confiscated a large number of "fake" passports from
travelers to South Africa and some neighboring countries following
months of investigations (reftel). In a recorded interview with
SAfm, Jackson MacKay -- deputy director general at Home Affairs
responsible for immigration -- noted that an unusually large number
of fake passports turned up at South Africa's ports of entry over
the holiday period, revealing upon further investigation that many
travelers to Mozambique and Zimbabwe are using "fraudulent" South
African passports. MacKay also noted the increasing trend of
travelers using documentation of people whom they closely resemble.
Qtravelers using documentation of people whom they closely resemble.
According to MacKay, the department is in the process of probing and
weeding out elements of corruption within the department and
implementing more stringent security measures at South Africa's
ports of entry. [Description of source: Johannesburg SAfm Radio in
English -- national SABC radio service, nominally independent but
partially funded by government]

Sponsored Surrender of Illegal Firearms in the Works

5. (SBU) Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has urged people in
possession of illegal firearms to hand them over to police
immediately. He said if they failed to do so they would face the
wrath of the law. Mthethwa was launching the three-month "Awuleth'
Umshini wakho" (translated as "Surrender Your Firearm") amnesty
campaign aimed at ridding the country of thousands of illegal
firearms. Owners of illegal firearms have until April 11 to
voluntarily hand over their firearms. During the first amnesty in
2004 and 2005, more than 98,000 illegal firearms were handed in.

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Mthethwa encouraged licensed firearm owners to surrender their guns
for destruction as prescribed in the Firearms Control Regulations.
"Gun Free" South Africa's Natalie Jaynes said they supported the
campaign and they would encourage all their constituencies in all
regions to hand over their guns and alert police to illegal guns.
(Sowetan, January 11, 2010)

Motlanthe Wants Stronger Culture of Learning as Schools Re-Open

6. (SBU) Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe delivered a
motivational speech to learners who underperformed at Mpheko Senior
Secondary School near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on January 13.
Motlanthe told the students that teachers should strengthen the
culture of teaching and learning at the school. The Eastern Cape
Legislature's Standing Committee on Education and members of the
provincial government have started visiting various schools in the
province to push the importance of education and to ascertain
whether schools are ready to teach the learners. (SABCNEWS, January
13, 2010)

International News

South Africa Pushes for Zimbabwe Leaders to Agree on "Some"
Outstanding Power-Sharing Issues

7. (SBU) SAfm radio reported that President Jacob Zuma's
International Relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, says Zimbabwe's
political rivals have agreed on "some" outstanding issues of a
power-sharing deal. Although there has been progress on some
issues, Zulu is reportedly unhappy with the slow pace of
negotiations. President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai formed a unity government last year in February after
disputed elections, but the coalition has been fraught with disputes
over power-sharing. [Description of source: Johannesburg SAfm Radio
in English -- national SABC radio service, nominally independent but
partially funded by government]

Government Expresses Concern Over Israeli Airstrikes in Gaza Strip

8. (SBU) Zuma told the crowd at the ANC's birthday celebration on
January 8 that one of the principles underpinning South Africa's
foreign policy is the Middle East peace process. He noted, "The
Palestinian people have inalienable right to self-determination and
independence," which he sees as entailing their universal human
rights to safety and security. The South African government noted
with concern the latest rounds of Israeli air strikes in the Gaza
Strip and registered its condemnation in the strongest possible
terms. (DIRCO Briefing, January 11)

FM Chairs South Africa-India Roundtable

9. (SBU) International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite
Nkoana-Mashabane chaired the South Africa-India business roundtable
with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in
Johannesburg on January 12. The purpose of the meeting was to
attract international trade and investment between the two countries
as well as "creating a business environment for growth" of both
South African and Indian business ahead of the Commonwealth games
taking place in New Delhi in October 2010. (DIRCO Briefing, January


© Scoop Media

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