Mbeki – Zuma – Quiet Diplomacy

Last week Jacob Zuma was elected as the new president of the African National Congress (ANC) ousting President Thabo Mbeki. This I find very interesting as he was recently acquitted of rape charges. I would not have thought that he would have that amount of support with his background. He could very well be the president of South Africa in 2009 when Mbeki has to step down.

South Africa is a country that has been affected by events occurring in their neighbouring country Zimbabwe. On a monthly basis thousands of Zimbabweans illegally make the way to South Africa in search of a better life. In the process they are risking their lives as they cross the crocodile infested Limpopo River which makes up the border between the two countries.

What goes on in Zimbabwe does not only affect the one country but its neighbouring countries. South Africa has had its fair share of people illegally cross their borders in search of ‘greener pastures’. Thousands of Zimbabweans cross into South Africa each month and their government has blamed a lot of their social problems on illegal immigrants. With them thinking that about immigrants one would think that they would do something to curb these problems. An effective way to do that is to get right to the source of the problem and see what can be done to solve it. Zimbabweans are leaving because they are not able to sustain themselves and their families. It cant be that hard to figure out what the root of the problem is in this respect.

Mbeki has been called upon a number of times by the SADC to mediate in Zimbabwe but has adopted a policy of quiet diplomacy. But, what is quiet diplomacy and how does it help? With Zuma now leading the ANC and very much on the way to being the next likely president of South Africa it will be interesting to see what kind of a stance he will take on his neighbours to the north. At his inaugural speech he praised Mugabe’s party ZANU PF and said “I don’t think sanctions have produced anything.”

Should Zimbabwe be left alone to solve its own problems or should the international community intervene? This is not to say that Mbeki has done nothing, he has been trying to mediate between ZANU PF and MDC.

image courtesy of newzimbabwe.com

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2 Responses to Mbeki – Zuma – Quiet Diplomacy

  1. T December 27, 2007 at 4:10 am #

    Personally I don’t like the fact that Zuma has been elected the new president of ANC. It’s apparent that South Afirca is heading towards Zimbabwes state. I have a few South African friends that were praying he didn’t get elected. We’ll just have to see what will happen. Very interesting post.

  2. Obakeng M January 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm #

    The ANC as a party have taken a resolution to adopt the quiet diplomacy at their conference in Polokwane.
    Also, i for one am happy that Thabo Mbeki did not get elected, not that i am Zuma fan (actually i am not), its just that i have a problem with leaders trying to cling to power. Take President Mugabe for example.

    I also believe that the SA will never go the Zim way, even if Zuma ultimately becomes Pres of the country. And i have hope for Zim, but President Mugabe needs to be removed!!!

    Thanks for coming by my blog!!!
    Obakeng, The Chief

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