The heat is on Mbeki

The heat is on President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa as the international
community resorts to seriously considering use of carrot and stick on the
Zimbabwean political crisis by taking measures towards stripping SA of the
right to host the 2010 soccer World Cup finals, The Zimbabwean on Sunday can

Events have happened at a pulsating pace over the past week since last

weekend’s emergency SADC summit on the Zimbabwean crisis in Lusaka as well

as the UN Security Council meeting in New York from which Mbeki once again

failed to redeem himself as the point man on his northern neighbour’s

political logjam. Not only did ANC leader Jacob Zuma openly differed and

blasted Mbeki on his ridiculous utterances that there was no crisis in

Zimbabwe, but MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who is Zimbabwe’s president in

waiting, turned on the heat Thursday when he called on Mbeki to step down as

mediator on Zimbabwe and be replaced by President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia.

The Zimbabwean on Sunday heard from impeccable SA official sources that

Mbeki’s glaring blundering over the past week on the Zimbabwean issue had

triggered “massive deliberations and correspondence from the international

community and also involving the world’s soccer governing body, FIFA over

whether SA could still be considered a safe host considering what’s

happening in Zim”, according to a reliable source.

“It was made clear to Mbeki that almost everyone including his own party are

losing patience with his suspicious handling of the Zimbabwe issue but worse

of all was imagining the World Cup being moved to Australia,” the source

said. “A team was sent recently to secretly assess the impact of the

Zimbabwean crisis on SA’s hosting of the soccer finals and it presented a

very bad report to FIFA, the European Union, USA as well as other interested

groups across the whole world. It is therefore a foregone conclusion that

these regions and countries as well as associations will certainly demand

that the finals be moved to Australia if the Zimbabwean political crisis is

not resolved by June or latest August”

“I am afraid, there is nobody to give the comment right now,” a secretary

said from Mbeki’s office in Pretoria Thursday.

With plans by the Mugabe military junta in Zimbabwe to, if at all, defer the

rerun of the presidential elections by at least three months from a still

yet unreached date when that declaration will be made, Mbeki finds himself

in a cul-de-sac and as one source from the SA embassy in Harare said, “he

now faces the risk of being condemned and despised by the whole business and

football community in SA, in fact, by the whole nation, which certainly wont

take lightly to losing the hosting right simply because of this farcical

so-called quiet diplomacy of his”.

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