South African President Jacob Zuma recently met with the president of the EU, Jose Manuel Barroso, and Herman van Rompuy, who is the president of the European Council in Brussels, where the issue of the slow transformation in Zimbabwe was discussed.
An ANC insider told The Zimbabwean that Zuma was taken to task by Barroso after an attempt to push for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and those within the Zanu (PF) inner circle. Barosso is a fierce critic of Mugabe and played a leading role in effecting travel bans and asset freezes on Mugabe and about 100 individuals in 2002.
He (Zuma) was told that South Africa should use its position as Zimbabwes biggest trading partner to ensure that the political issues in that country are resolved as soon as possible, said the source.
South Africas Minister of Defence and Zumas chief facilitator in Zimbabwe, Lindiwe Sisulu, said the delegation had explained to the EU that the sanctions were stalling the process of political reform in Zimbabwe. In September last year, the EU decided to maintain the sanctions after it ruled that certain benchmarks for reform had not been met.
In February this year, the sanctions were renewed after European leaders felt Zimbabwe had been to slow in implementing the Global Political Agreement (GPA) brokered by former South African president Thabo Mbeki in September 2008.Post published in: News