Policy of Quiet Diplomacy by the South African Government towards the Government of Zimbabwe

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO 3

(STANDING OVER FROM 8 SEPTEMBER 2004 - TRANSFER OF WRITTEN PQ 349 - PUUBLISHED IN THE INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 7 OF 30 JUNE 2004

MR WJ SEREMANE (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether her department intends changing its policy of quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe in the light of a request made to the President's office on Wednesday, 23 June 2004, by 20 human rights groups led by Amnesty International for South Africa to place more pressure on Zimbabwe in the light of its human rights record and owing to the groups' assertion that quiet diplomacy is not working; if not, why not; if so, what immediate policy changes will it make;

(2) whether her department intends taking any steps to ensure that the Zimbabwean government addresses the emerging food crisis in the Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces; if not, why not; if so, what steps;

(3) what progress has been made in talks between Zanu-PF and the MDC in relation to reaching a political settlement;

(4) whether her department has identified any policy alternatives to quiet diplomacy should the situation in Zimbabwe continue to deteriorate politically and economically; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? N389E

REPLY:

(1) No.

(2) The department did not receive any request for food assistance from Zimbabwe.

(3) The South African Government and President Mbeki are constantly engaging both
the MDC and ZANU (PF) to find an acceptable and sustainable solution to their challenges. On 18 December 2003, President Mbeki had separate meetings with President Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe. Both parties undertook to commence preparations towards final talks. On 29th February 2004, President Mbeki invited both parties to South Africa with a view to obtaining a briefing on progress made (based on the promises made in December 2003) and also to encourage both parties to resume formal and structured talks. On March 2004, the two parties met in Harare to assess the situation on talks. This meeting was followed by another meeting in Pretoria on the 27th June 2004 where President Mbeki met with the MDC delegation led by the party's secretary-general Welshman Ncube, to assess the progress made.

4) No.

END





 

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa