Statement issued by the Democratic Alliance May 4 2008.

Sandra Botha MP
05 May 2008
South African government's inaction over Zimbabwe crisis - DA calls for
parliamentary debate.

When Parliament re-convenes on Tuesday 6th May 2008, I intend to move a

motion calling for a debate on the post-election crisis in Zimbabwe, and

more specifically, probing President Mbeki and the South African

government’s distinct lack of action on the matter.

On the 25th April 2008, during a deputation to the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs in Pretoria, I presented a representative of Minister Nkosazana

Dlamini-Zuma with a letter detailing a series of Democratic Alliance (DA)

proposals to help bring about an end the post-election violence and

political stalemate in Zimbabwe.

In the document, we proposed that the South African government give

Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF government a fixed period to comply with the following


.1.)     That the presidential election results be immediately released;

.2.)     That state-sponsored or -supported political violence come to an

immediate end;

.3.)     That the government accept the deployment of a joint AU-UN mission

to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe, and prevent the recurrence of violence


.4.)     That, if all parties accept the released results, and the

opposition MDC candidate is declared the victor in the presidential

election, this result be fully accepted and complied with.

.5.)     That, if it became necessary to contest a run-off election, and

this were accepted by all parties, such a run-off proceed without further

unnecessary delay;

.6.)     That a run-off election be monitored by officials and observers

from SADC, the African Union, and the United Nations;

.7.)     And lastly, that local, regional, and international media be

allowed to operate in Zimbabwe throughout this period, free from any form of

harassment or intimidation.

If the Zimbabwean government failed to meet these demands, we proposed that

South Africa pursue more stringent measures – such as imposing targeted

travel and financial sanctions on ZANU-PF’s ruling elite, calling for an

international arms embago on the country, and condemning publicly both

President Mugabe and his government for their refusal to adhere to the

mandate of the Zimbabwean people.

Yet despite having received these proposals, and regardless of the

overwhelming number of continued calls from regional and international

bodies and political leaders for South Africa to take a principled and

decisive stance on this urgent matter, our government – following the

example of President Mbeki’s unrelenting denialism – has yet to respond to

the crisis in any significant way.

To add insult to injury, we now know from reports in the media that

President Mbeki not only endorsed the effort by Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF to

procure a massive cache of arms and ammunition from China, but that Mbeki

instructed the Ministry of Defence and the National Conventional Arms

Control Committee (NCACC) to allow the arms transfer to continue unhindered

if the Chinese ship containing these weapons were to dock at Durban Harbour.

This move – a morally bankrupt one, which would have further contributed to

the violent suppression of the Zimbabwean people by the military and the

police there – is further evidence that President Mbeki can no longer be

considered a credible mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis. The President’s

actions also highlight the need for the executive to be brought to account

for its actions in Parliament.

The South African president’s mooted move, therefore, to send a team of

observers to Zimbabwe to verify MDC claims that Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF is

waging a violent campaign against opposition supporters, could not possibly

be considered a credible or reliable one. Rather – as the DA has proposed in

its recommendations to the Foreign Affairs Minister – a team of observers

under the auspices of the African Union, the United Nations, or both, should

be deployed to Zimbabwe immediately to monitor the situation there.

Statement issued by Sandra Botha MP, DA parliamentary leader, May 4 2008

Post published in: Opinions

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