Zuma also guilty of quiet diplomacy – Wilmot

jacob_zuma_1JOHANNESBURG -Wilmot James, the South African representative to the SADC Parliamentary Forum, has bemoaned the lack of a clear policy on neighbouring Zimbabwe on the part of South Africa. (Pictured: Jacob Zuma)

He charged that President Jacob Zuma was maintaining the widely-criticised quiet diplomacy approach of his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, much to the detriment of both Zimbabwe and South Africa.

South Africa does not have a credible foreign policy on Zimbabwe because we have not consistently applied diplomatic pressure on Zanu (PF )to live up to the Global Political Agreement (GPA). We have not applied quiet but firm pressure via intelligence and defence on those around Mugabe to exit and not be spoilers. We have not invested in the unity government to get basic services restarted – without which the whole GPA deal is dead, and we have not provided real assistance in helping the Government of Zimbabwe to normalise relations with the rest of the world, especially the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, James said in a statement.

He added, The Democratic Alliance has already called for a parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe. Our request sits on the Order Paper, but is yet to be granted. The problem is that, without targeting objectives and building a strategy to achieve those objectives, our diplomatic efforts in Zimbabwe will continue to be indecisive and ineffective.

James comments followed the hearing by the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs last Thursday of further testimony on possible strategic responses to the political and economic challenges in Zimbabwe. This testimony forms part of ongoing efforts by the Obama administration to build a cohesive strategic approach to Zimbabwe, which balances the need to support the fragile coalition government with the need to reprimand undemocratic influences.

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