News from Jozi – 23 March 2006

Clerics want Mbeki to get tough
DURBAN -President Thabo Mbeki has resisted pressure from church leaders to impose sanctions

against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s government, which is accused of misrule.

The head of Southern African Catholics said he and other church leaders had told President Mbeki to act on the Mugabe regime, but the South African leader would not do it because he lacks the political will.

The clergymen advised Mbeki to adopt a more robust and tougher stance against Mugabe, including imposing sanctions against the Zimbabwe leader, his wife and top officials in much the same way the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) have done.

“We had a couple of meetings with President Mbeki, who explained the negotiating role he has played. We raised the point that we thought that targeted sanctions should be considered by the South African government,” Cardinal Wilfred Napier told ZimOnline.

“They have the intelligence services to point out the weaknesses and where they could be applied. They know what will affect Mugabe. However, Mbeki doesn’t have the political will to do this,” Cardinal Napier said. – SW Radio AFrica


The UN must act now!


JOHANNESBURG – The secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, visited South Africa recently with promises of fixing Zimbabwe’s woes. Among his many credentials Annan is African, born and bred on the continent. Sadly, the UN has failed to make any difference in Zimbabwe, where millions languish under the ruinous politics of the ruling party.

Through its various organisations such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees the United Nations has now joined the list of international organisations;

· deliberately casting a blind eye to political developments in Zimbabwe that are destroying the country. The UN has failed to play an effective role in restoring stability and peace in that country

· failing in every sense of the word to address the Zimbabwean refugee concerns in South Africa, as well as many other parts of the region. Presently an estimated 3 million Zimbabweans live in South Africa, many of these illegally or illegitimately. One thousand Zimbabweans cross the Zimbabwe/ Limpopo border with South Africa daily, fleeing persecution and terror at home;

· supporting globalization processes that are destroying millions of innocent lives through harmful financial and economic programs engineered through international financial institutions,

· associated with illegitimate debts of many of these poor countries, some of which debts were accumulated during colonialism and are now being repaid by innocent citizens through distorted fiscal, tax and economic policy structures.

The Methodist church in Johannesburg is now almost an unofficial refugee reception office. As a result of the failure of the UNHCR in its responsibilities, the costs of managing Zimbabwe’s refugee problem have been effectively transferred to the South African community – especially the church.

We are aware that UNHCR works closely with Governments in the region, but it will need to start realizing the futility of remaining stuck in the ‘protest or critique mode’ vand start looking towards practical results.

Perhaps the secretary general’s rather low profile entry into the country says a lot about possible apprehension about his reception here, particularly from the Zimbabwean community.

We feel that at this moment, the issue is not really the IMF, but Kofi Annan’s complete failure to protect innocent lives when there are very clear options that his organisation can spend their millions of dollars on, doing legitimate business assisting the huge influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa. This is critical if the United Nations is not to become increasingly meaningless in the lives of many ordinary Africans in the region. – Simba Manyana is a researcher with ZRCN.

SA deporting other Africans to Zim?

JOHANNESBURGZimbabwe’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Simon

Khaya-Moyo has started vetting fellow countrymen at Lindela repatriation centre before they are deported following reports that hundreds of illegal immigrants from other nationalities are being deported to Zimbabwe.

Commissioner spokesperson, Chris Mapanga, said more than 200 illegal immigrants from countries such as Malawi, Mozambique Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are being deported to Zimbabwe nearly twice a week claiming to be Zimbabweans.

“We have discovered that thousands of illegal immigrants being deported to Zimbabwe are not Zimbabweans, most of them are from Malawi, Mozambique Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They register themselves as Zimbabweans so that they can be deported to the proximity of South Africa and this has forced our office to vet every individual claiming to be a Zimbabweans at lindela before being deported to,” Mapanga said.

South Africa recently started deporting illegal immigrants to Zimbabwe twice a week and it is assumed that between 600 and 9 00 Zimbabweans are deported every week from Lindela.

Mapanga said the deportation of fake Zimbabweans has given the country a stereotype in the continent: “We are taking this process seriously because it is depicting a wrong image about our country”, he said.

Conditions to which illegal immigrants are subjected to while in detention are reportedly unfriendly to human habitation. Last year, three Zimbabweans, including a pregnant woman, died while in detention at Lindela.

It is said despite being deported, border jumpers quickly found their way back to South Africa through illegal entry points in Beitbridge.

Most border jumpers approach locals who help them cross the Limpopo River for a fee of between R500 and R800 per individual. – CAJ News.

Post published in: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *