Complete and utter Failure of Mbeki´s "Silent Diplomacy"
Taking on the Government Information Service (GCIS)Jaco Strauss vs Mbeki´s Office
Around the time the Zimbabwean Collapse started in earnest, I read a book by Judith Todd entitled 'Rhodesia'. What struck me was the fact that the back cover on 1967 Rhodesia had been as applicable to the Zimbabwe of 2000. I pointed this out in an email and copied Mbeki's Office. I publish the response of the SA Government here as well as my subsequent reply to them. Amazing to think this took place more than a decade ago and still nothing is being done about it.
It should be noted that Judith Todd remained true to her principles and in time she bacame a fierce critic of Mugabe's regime too, culminating in the loss of her Zimbabwean citizenship. In 2007 she wrote a book Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe and as I understand she is back in exile.
The Wheel has Come Full Circle
"Judith Todd is the daughter of former Rhodesian Premier Garfield Todd and a fierce, uncompromising opponent of the (current) regime. In this highly controversial book she . . . paints a vivid eye-witness picture of the realities of life under the present regime - a government whose policies are based on naked racialism, propaganda, detention centres, restrictions, censorship, brutality, and mass hysteria - and grimly warns Britain of the terrible consequences if we continue to ignore our responsibilities."
Back cover of "Rhodesia"
Published by Panther Books
Add murder, rape, disregard for property rights and the Rule of Law, homophobia; anti-Semitism, xenophobia, cronyism, nepotism and madness - and she could use this same 1967 piece to promote a book on "liberated" Zimbabwe in 2000!!!
As you are aware Zimbabwe is on the verge of total anarchy, while our government (as indeed all African governments) remains quiet. Rather than an "African Renaissance", we're fast slipping into the Dark Ages.
20 April 2000
Reply from Govt Info Service (GCIS)
Reply from Mbeki's Office
Hilda de Jager
About a week later I received this standard email back that had been sent to a number of people critcizing Mbeki's failure to act on Zimbabwe. The short email basically referred us to a media article and I include both here.
As can be imagined no response had ever been received from the "President's Office"
We at GCIS take note of your concern regarding the state of affairs in Zimbabwe, and have forwarded your letters to the Office of the Presidency.
In the meantime, please take note of the following SAPA report, based on an article in "Sunday Times".
Hilda de Jager
MBEKI IN SECRET DEAL WITH MUGABE JOHANNESBURG April 22 2000 Sapa
JOHANNESBURG April 22 2000 Sapa
The Sunday Times reported that Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe had made behind the scene concessions to South African president Thabo Mbeki to end the illegal occupation of white-owned farms and to hold free and fair elections.
South African oppositions parties reacted with outrage on Saturday after it was reported that Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, Namibian president Sam Nujoma and Mbeki came out in support to Mugabe at a press conference at Victoria Falls summit referring to him as a "champion of the rule of law".
According to the Sunday Times, the statements were aimed at publicly committing Mugabe to sticking to the agreement.
Mbeki lobbied leaders of the US, Europe, Britain and Southern Africa to back a dramatic rescue plan for the strife torn country, which he presented to Mugabe at the summit on Friday.
In a private meeting with Mbeki, Mugabe agreed to order war veterans to end their occupation of farms, hold free and fair elections and tone down his inflammatory rhetoric.
In return, Britain has agreed to fund Mugabe's land reform programme, hundreds of millions of rands in loan finance for Zimbabwe through the International Monetary Fund are to be unlocked and South Africa will lobby international finance organisations and local businesses on its neighbour's behalf.
The deal followed a week of intense behind-the-scenes diplomacy in which Mbeki spoke by telephone to US president Bill Clinton, British prime minister Tony Blair and European Union leader Romano Prodi to get their undertaking to support land reform in Zimbabwe. The evacuation of the 10,000 illegal squatters on farms in Zimbabwe is expected to begin this week.
A delegation of Zimbabwean ministers will fly to London this week to finalise details of the deal, which will see funds pledged by Britain and others in 1988 released to the country.
Friday's deal followed a bloody week in which two farmers and two opposition supporters were killed.
Source : Sapa /cb