Notes for Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad Briefing to Media, Thursday 10 April 2008, Union Buildings, Pretoria

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the murder of the outstanding leader and patriot Chris Hani.  We therefore use this occasion to convey our prayers and best wishes to his wife Dimpho Hani and his family.  It’s a day on which South Africans must recall his life and emulate leadership, his value systems and what contribution he made to the struggle.  Our country needs outstanding leaders of this stature.

HEADS OF MISSION MEETING AFRICA AND EUROPE

A meeting of the Heads of Mission of the 66 Missions in Africa and Europe combined will be held from 11 – 13 April 2008 in Vienna, Austria.  The agenda will include thematic debates on the relations between Africa and the EU, peace and security on the African continent and the South Africa – EU strategic partnership.  A workshop will also be held on the 2010 World Cup.

AFRICA – INDIA PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT

South African President Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday 9 April 2008 concluded his official visit to India where he led a senior South African government delegation to the inaugural Africa – India Partnership Summit scheduled from Tuesday – Wednesday 8-9 April 2008.

President Mbeki’s delegation included Mrs Zanele Mbeki, Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, South Africa’s High Commissioner to India Francis Moloi as well as South Africa’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Chris Pepani.

President Thabo Mbeki and Heads of State and Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tanzania and Nigeria as well as Chair of the African Union Commission Alpha Konare participated alongside Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Summit that considered the modalities to strengthen the cooperation ties between Africa and India.

Accordingly, the Summit agreed that co-operation between India and Africa would be strengthened in the following areas:

  • Economic co-operation through agriculture, trade industry and investment, small and medium-scale enterprises, finance and regional integration;
  • Political co-operation through peace and security as well as civil society and governance initiatives;
  • Science, technology, research and development through science and technology, information and communication technology programmes;
  • Co-operation in social development and capacity building in the field of education, health, water and sanitation, culture and sports, and poverty eradication;
  • Tourism;
  • Infrastructure, energy and environmental issues;
  • Media and communication

 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said "India's engagement with Africa is not a new phenomenon."  But that the Africa-India Partnership Summit, "held in an atmosphere of great warmth and sense of partnership," had "laid the firm foundations on which to build the new framework of cooperation."

“India wishes to see the 21st century as the century of Asia and Africa, with the people of the two countries working together to promote inclusive globalisation.”

“Today, we have a second chance to take charge of our own destiny and give a new meaning to the concept of sustainable, equitable and environment-friendly development”

“Our shared vision of the world should enable us to work together on the vital challenges facing humanity. No one understands better than India and Africa the need for global institutions to reflect current realities and to build a more equitable global economy and polity.”

Delhi Declaration

“The international community is today addressing a series of critical issues such as environmental degradation, including climate change and desertification, multilateral trade negotiations, reform and democratisation of international institutions, particularly the United Nations and the Bretton Woods Institutions, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the fight against terrorism, combating illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, non-proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, the fight against drugs and most importantly, promotion of pluralism and democracy, the pursuit of sustainable development underpinned by social justice, eradication of hunger, poverty as well as combating diseases.  Africa and India reiterate their intention to ensure that in all these matters, the interests of developing countries are kept uppermost and the socio-economic developmental requirements of our countries are guaranteed.

We recognise that climate change is a global challenge but one that will be particularly severe for developing countries given their vulnerabilities, inadequate means and limited capacities to adapt to its effects.  We reaffirm that development is the best form of adaptation and that the foremost priority for developing countries is to ensure accelerated social and economic development.  We note that sustainable development is essential to enable effective adaptation.  We stress the importance for adaptation to be adequately financed through additional resources and not from funds meant for development.

We note with regret the lack of demonstrable progress by developed countries on Green House Gas (GHG) reduction commitments in the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.  We emphasize the need for equitable and fair burden sharing in mitigation which must take into account historical emissions.  In this regard, we take note of the proposal of the Prime Minister of India on convergence of per- capita emissions of developing and developed countries.

We urge the international community to give real and immediate effect to commitments on climate change, especially in the areas of technology transfer, financing and capacity building.  There is also need for a closer look at the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime to ensure cost-effective transfer of appropriate and advanced clean technologies to developing countries.

We are determined to participate effectively in the negotiations under the Bali Action Plan towards comprehensively addressing climate change in accordance with the provisions and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change (UNFCCC), in particular the key principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

We take note of the state of play in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – Doha round of trade negotiations.  We reiterate the importance of the development dimension of the Round and welcome the strengthened engagement, solidarity and cooperation among developing countries in that process.  Agriculture remains the key to the conclusion of this round.  We are convinced that any acceptable agreement must adequately protect the livelihood, food security and rural development concerns of developing countries.  Any outcome must also bring about significant and effective reductions in trade-distorting domestic support and subsidies provided by the developed countries.  There are equally important issues also to be addressed on Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) services and rules.  We are convinced that the process to be adopted to reach convergence in the WTO negotiations requires focus on content and not artificial timelines.  The promise of a development round must be fully realised.”

India as an emerging economic power committed itself to focus on ways to boost the relations between the two sides, particularly in the areas of economy, trade, agriculture and human resources.
India recognising the crucial importance of market access in ensuring the development dimension of international trade

India announced duty free preferential market access to exports from the 50 Least Development Countries including 34 such nations Africa.

The scheme will over cover 94 per cent of India’s total tariff lines, comprise 92.5 per cent of global exports of all LDCs.

Products covered included cotton, cocoa, aluminium ores, copper ores, cashew nets, cane sugar, ready made garments fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds.

Increase in India’s Lines of Credit to 5.4 billion dollars over the next five years from 2.15 billion dollars extended between 2003 and 2008.

Decision to undertake projects against grants in excess of 500 million dollars over the next five to six years.

Developing infrastructure in the railways, IT, telecom and power generation and physical connectivity would be a priority.

India’s IT industry is among the most advanced in the world and provides key personnel to America’s Silicon Valley.

“We will promote activities of small, medium and micro enterprises by making full use of public-private partnership.”

On the education front, India will increase its efforts to strengthen regional and Pan-African institutions of higher education, especially in science, IT, vocation training, investment in research and development in renewable energy, and agriculture.

Doubling of long-term scholarships for undergraduates, post-graduates and higher courses and increase in number of training slots under technical assistance programmes from 1 100 to 1 600 every year.

India proposed the creation of an India-Africa Volunteer Corps devoted to development work, particular in public health, informal education and women’s empowerment.

Delhi Declaration

“We are committed to multilateralism and to strengthening the democratic structure of the United Nations.

We reaffirm our commitment to further strengthen Africa-India cooperation at the United Nations, the G77 and in other multilateral fora with a view to addressing issues of common concern.  There is need for urgent and comprehensive reform of the United Nations to enable it to more effectively deal with the challenges of today’s world.  We share the view that the United Nations should function in a more transparent, efficient and effective manner, and that the composition of its central organs must reflect contemporary realities.  In particular, the expansion of the UN Security Council, in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, is central to the process of UN reform.

India notes the common African position and the aspirations of the African countries to get their rightful place in an expanded UN Security Council as new permanent members with full rights as contained in the Ezulweni consensus.  Africa takes note of India’s position and its aspirations to become a permanent member with full rights in an expanded UN Security Council.

We unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  An act of terrorism anywhere is a threat to the entire international community.  We recognise the need to further strengthen international cooperation to combat global terrorism and for compliance of member states with all international terrorism conventions and related protocols, and the Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism.  We also agree to make concerted efforts towards expeditious finalisation of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN.”

SA-MOZAMBIQUE HEADS OF STATE BILATERAL ECONOMIC FORUM

President Thabo Mbeki will on Friday 11 April 2008 pay an official visit to Mozambique for the Heads of State Bilateral Economic Forum.

The Heads of State Bilateral Economic Forum allows the Presidents of both countries to preside over the review of progress made with regards to strategic projects between the two counties.  The Forum further serves as a platform for reinforcing bilateral economic relations between South Africa and Mozambique.

Relations between South Africa and Mozambique are very close, underpinned by the growing ties in trade, investment, tourism, migration and security.  South Africa has emerged as the main trading partner for Mozambique and its main source of foreign direct investments.  The creation of a transport and development corridor (i.e. Maputo Development Corridor) linking the port of Maputo with South Africa’s industrial heartland symbolises the importance of these bilateral ties.

The extent of economic relations between the two countries warranted the creation of a Heads of State Bilateral Economic Forum in 1997, which is meant to convene on a regular basis (at least twice a year) and preside over strategic projects between the two countries.  Furthermore, a Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC), which was entered into in 1994, serves as a framework of co-operation for all line-function departments between the two countries.

Discussions between the South African and Mozambican Heads of State are likely to include:

  • Trade and industry issues;
  • Tourism and environmental issues;
  • Finance issues;
  • Minerals and energy issues;
  • Transport and communication issues;
  • Agricultural issues, and
  • Migration issues

Trade between South Africa and Mozambique

Total exports by South Africa to Mozambique in 2007 (up to November) were valued at over R8 billion.  South Africa imported goods from Mozambique to the value at over R2 billion in the same period.  This showed a dramatic improvement for Mozambican exports to South Africa from R318 590 000 in 2006 to over R 2 billion in 2007; an increase of more than 600 percent.  South Africa’s exports to Mozambique have continued to grow as well moving from just over 6 billion to more than 8 billion; a growth of more than 25 percent.  Despite South Africa being its main trading partner on the continent, Mozambique only accounts for a very small proportion of South Africa’s external trade.  Trade between the two countries involves traditional exports to South Africa; mostly nickel ores and concentrate, unwrought nickel, and cotton.  South African exports, in turn, consist of petroleum, motor vehicles and variety of consumer goods to meet fast growing demands of an increasing urban population and booming manufacturing sector.

South Africa accounts for about 40% of Mozambican imports.  In 2007, there has been a dramatic increase in South Africa’s imports from Mozambique, which could be partly attributed to the role of South African FDI in Mozambique; with natural gas imports by SASOL playing a significant role.

South Africa – Mozambique trade statistics (all figures in ZAR)

YEAR SA Exports SA Imports
2003 5, 676, 203, 000, 00 280, 806, 000, 00
2004 5, 077, 739, 000, 00 204, 845, 000, 00
2005 6, 402, 557, 000, 00 199, 292, 000, 00
2006 6, 240, 445, 000, 00 318, 590, 000, 00
2007 (up to November) 8, 163, 657, 000, 00 2, 252, 974, 000, 00

Source: www.thedti.gov.za/econdb/raportt/rap100c1.html

Top 5 traded products between South Africa and Mozambique (2006)

South African Exports to Mozambique South African imports from Mozambique
Petroleum Nickel ores and concentrate
Maize (corn) Unwrought nickel
Cereal, meal and pellets Cotton

SOUTH AFRICAN DEPUTY PRESIDENT PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA PAYS OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

The South African Deputy President, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, supported by Deputy Foreign Minister, Ms Sue van der Merwe, on conclusion of her official visit to The Netherlands, is paying an official visit to Ireland, scheduled from 9 -10 April 2008.  Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka is hosted by her Irish counterpart, Prime Minister Mr Bertie Ahern.

The Deputy President and her delegation visit Ireland within the context of consolidating and expanding South Africa’s special relations with Ireland.  The visit further strengthens existing co-operation with Ireland on Government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGI-SA), and Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA).

Discussions between Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka and Prime Minister Ahern on Wednesday 9 April 2008 were expected to include, among others:

  • The status of bilateral political, and economic relations between the two countries as well as Africa and the European Union in general;
  • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
  • SMME ‘s Development;
  • Expanding South Africa’s manufacturing base; and
  • Co-operation in the agro-industry.

Whilst in Ireland, the Deputy President and her delegation also attended a business meeting arranged by Sir Anthony O’Reilly with captains of Irish business.

Bilateral Economic Relations

South Africa sells mainly agricultural products such as wines and fruit, agricultural machinery, as well as minerals to Ireland.  Ireland in turn sells mainly information technology equipment, beverages, as well as pharmaceutical products to South Africa.

In this context, South African business community are beginning to identify Ireland as an ideal trading partner in Europe.

Although the volume of bilateral trade is tilted strongly in Ireland’s favour, a vast scope for the deepening of economic relations exists as the following statistics indicate.

Trade Figures

South African Exports to Ireland           (ZAR) 
2004               2005             2006             2007
1,024,704      1,122,108       1,127,271       1,176,249

South African Imports from Ireland
2004               2005             2006               2007
4,053,853      4,072,400       4,311,945        4,864,720

Tourism Figures

2005                                      2006
36,335                                    38,124

Development Co-operation

Ireland’s development assistance to South Africa amounts to about Euro 11 million, annually.  Irish Aid is mainly focused on five priority areas: Education, where the assistance is mainly channelled into capacity building; Health,    HIV/AIDS;   Water Supply and Sanitation; as well as Good Governance, Democracy and Human Rights.

Since  coming  to office, the current Government  has trebled  Development Aid  to  about Euro  545  million,  making Ireland  the world’s 8th largest contributor  (0.41%). Eighty five percent of Irish Development Assistance is spent in Africa.

Irish Development Assistance to Africa will remain the primary focus of Irish Aid. The strategy emphasises African ownership and partnership. Consequently, Irish Aid will work through African institutions and will increase the number of key partner countries from eight to ten.

Support for Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution in Africa

In 2006, Ireland made a contribution of Euro 800 000 to South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission for their work in the DRC. Ireland also has a military presence of about 430 personnel in Liberia as part of UNMIL, the largest such deployment by a western European country to a UN mandated Peace Keeping Operation in Africa.

MINISTER DLAMINI ZUMA TO HOLD BILATERAL DISCUSSIONS WITH AUSTRIANFEDERAL MINISTER FOR EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS URSULA PLASSNIK

South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will visit Vienna, Austria from Wednesday-Saturday 9-13 April 2008 where she is scheduled to hold bilateral political, economic and trade discussions with the Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs Ursula Plassnik on Friday 11 April 2008.

The meeting between Ministers Dlamini Zuma and Plassnik will be held ahead of the Europe Africa Regional Heads of Mission (HOM) Conference, which will take place from Saturday-Sunday 12-13 April 2008 in Vienna.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will hold discussions with Minister Plassnik within the context of South Africa’s priority to strengthen relations with countries of the North with a view to consolidating the African developmental agenda.

In this regard discussions between the two Ministers will include amongst others:

  • Overview of bilateral relations between South Africa and Austria;
  • African Agenda; and
  • Multilateral issues

Bilateral Economic Relations

South Africa and Austria share healthy bilateral relations that cover a wide spectrum of activities. Economic diplomacy has been a major preoccupation of South Africa in its bilateral relations with Austria and in this regard South Africa continues to strive for the engagement of the Austrian Government at national level in support of its development programs.

This has in turn resulted in the building of provincial partnerships with key Austrian provinces. At the local government level the City Council of Vienna has provided consistent material support for educational programs in Gauteng.

With the 2010 Soccer tournament to be hosted by SA in mind, closer relations are also maintained with Austria’s EURO 2008 soccer tournament.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Austria amounted to Euro 906.4 millions (R 6342 Billion) in 2006, an increase of 15.9 % as compared to 2005 (Euro 781.9 millions).

South African exports to Austria in 2006 amounted to Euro 348.8 millions an increase of 12.4 % comparing to year 2005. The main imports from Austria include paper and paper board, machinery and electrical equipment, passenger motor vehicles, medical and pharmaceutical products, heavy duty vehicles and music instruments.

Major Imports from Austria in Euro value

GROUP OF PRODUCSTS VALUE in Euro
Machinery and electrical equipment 206.2
Passenger motor vehicles 110.3
Heavy duty vehicles 49.1
Paper and paper board    17.7
Medical &pharmaceutical products 15.7
Rails 14,0
 Anorganic chemicals 9,2
Music Instruments 8.2
Base metal products 6.8
Transpot Containers 5,8

Major Exports to Austria in Euro value

GROUP OF PRODUCSTS VALUE in Euro
Iron ore   182,0
Pulp of wood 44.1
Pig iron, ferro-alloys    19.7
Minerals   19.5
Fresh and dried fruit   18.1
Furniture 13.7
Motor vehicle components & acc. 8,0
Machinery&electrical  equipment  6,9
Heavy duty vehicles, speciai purpose   4,9
Canned Fruit 3,4


Total imports and exports figures from 2003 till 2006

Year SA EXPORTS
In Euro value
SA  IMPORTS
 in Euro value
2003 236.4 335.4
2004 309.7 399.6
2005 310.2 471.7
2006 348.8 557.6

Minister Dlamini Zuma will depart from Austria on Sunday, 13 April 2008.

NEPAD REVIEW SUMMIT

South African President Thabo Mbeki will attend the NEPAD Review Summit which will take place in Dakar, Senegal, on 15 April 2008.

Desired outcomes of the Review Summit

The NEPAD Secretariat prepared a concept paper for the NEPAD Review Summit.   The way forward as stated in the concept paper is indicative of overcoming the weaknesses within NEPAD, as well as enhancing the successes of NEPAD.  This includes the following:

  • Consolidating and widening ownership and leadership of NEPAD at all levels;
  • Ensuring more effective engagement and participation by all stakeholders, particularly civil society, private sector as well as parliamentarians;
  • Mobilising domestic resources by encouraging production, fighting waste and corruption, promoting better resource control and management, initiating productive projects, and encouraging savings;
  • Continuing advocacy for expanded and substantial debt relief, increases in direct foreign investment, improved terms of trade and greater access to the markets of industrialised countries including the removal of distorting tariff and non-tariff barriers;
  • Establishing implementation networks between member states and RECs; and identifying targeted regional and national programmes and ensure predictable and sustainable financing mechanism to sustain coordination;
  • Strengthening regional integration particularly through enhanced investment in infrastructure (given the role the latter plays in this matter);
  • Expanding inter-African trade to consolidate African regional markets;
  • Branding of NEPAD to facilitate the tracking of its activities and impact;
  • Strengthening the institutional and human capacities of  RECs to fulfil their mandates in implementing NEPAD;
  • Ensuring wider participation in the APRM; and
  • Strengthening NEPAD in all dimensions.

NEPAD is Africa’s overarching developmental programme.  Of critical importance is restoring the accountability and ownership of the NEPAD programme. 

It is important to accelerate the implementation of the NEPAD plan of action maintaining both an internal and external focus; establish linkages to NEPAD at the national level to ensure that NEPAD is made relevant and has positive impact on the quality of life of all Africans; and define and maintain a close interface between NEPAD and the SADC RISDP.

SA PRESIDENCY – UN SECURITY COUNCIL

South Africa is holding the rotating monthly Presidency of the United Nations Security Council during April 2008. In this capacity, South Africa is responsible for helping to prepare the agenda of the Council for the month in consultation with other Council members, chairing meetings of the Security Council, help guide the Council to decisions on a range of issues on its agenda and act as the Council's official contact point for other UN Member States, the media and civil society. The Presidency also offers an opportunity to promote a theme that is of particular regional or national importance.

South Africa’s Theme:

The theme of South Africa’s first Presidency of the Security Council in March 2007 was: “The relationship between the UN and regional organisations – and in particular the African Union – in terms of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter”. A decision was taken at that time to carry this theme through for the duration of South Africa’s two-year term on the Council. Consequently, the same theme holds for our Presidency of the Council this month.

In an effort to consolidate complementary themes relevant to Africa that are explored in the Security Council, South Africa is also linking the topic of cooperation between the UN and the African Union to the issue of conflict resolution in Africa.

Two special events are planned for this month in this regard:

  • Firstly, President Mbeki has extended invitations to Heads of State and Government of those countries i.e.) that currently serve on the UN Security Council ii) that are members of the AU Peace and Security Council and iii) African countries that are on the agenda of the UNSC to an open debate to be held on 17 April 2008 at the UN Security Council Chambers in New York.
  • On 16 April 2008, the UN Security Council and AU Peace and Security Council will hold a joint meeting, at ambassadorial level, in New York.

Security Council Summit on 16 April:

The meeting of the Security Council that President Mbeki will chair on 17 April will see a continuation of this discussion, but at a higher political level and inside the Council chambers in the presence of the wider UN membership. African countries that are on the agenda of the Security Council will be afforded an opportunity to share their impressions of the UN and AU’s conflict prevention and resolution efforts and the general UN membership will reflect on how best to strengthen cooperation between the UN and regional organisations.

The debate will therefore be an opportunity to address, amongst others, the following:

  • The complex nature of some current conflicts and the need to respond timeously to threats to peace, taking into account factors such as the capacity and, at times, the limitations of regional organisations.
  • Resolution of conflicts that require a strengthened international peace and security architecture, underpinned by an enhanced relationship between the United Nations, in particular the Security Council, and regional organisations.
  • Continual review on how best to maximise the relationship between the UN and regional organisations, in particular the African Union.
  • An exchange of views on ways to secure predictable, sustainable and flexible resources for Regional Organisations, in particular the African Union, to carry out the mandates of maintaining international peace and security.

The specific outcome we have in mind from this meeting is a new Security Council resolution that would endorse recommendations made by the UN Secretary-General in his recently released report on the cooperation between the UN and regional organisations and in particular the AU. The report inter alia addresses the role of regional organisations in international peace and security, division of responsibilities with the UN, coordination and consultation mechanisms, financing, conflict prevention and mediation, support to peace building and post-conflict reconstruction.

On the critically important issue of funding the Secretary-General proposes “setting up within the next three months an African Union-United Nations panel consisting of distinguished persons to consider in depth the modalities of how to support, including financing, peacekeeping operations undertaken by regional organisations, in particular as related to start-up funding, equipment and logistics, and make concrete recommendations.”

We will be urging the Security Council members therefore to support this proposal of a high-level panel to explore the issue of resources.

Countries Invited to the UN Security Council Summit on 16 April:

CURRENT SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

Belgium; Burkina Faso; China; Costa Rica; Croatia; France; Indonesia; Italy; Libya; Panama; Russia; South Africa; United Kingdom; United States of America and Vietnam

CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE AU PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL

Algeria; Angola; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Democratic Republic of Congo; Egypt; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Nigeria; Malawi; Rwanda; Senegal; Swaziland; Uganda and Zambia

OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES ON THE UN AGENDA

Burundi; Central African Republic; Chad; Cote d’Ivoire; Eritrea; Liberia; Mali; Republic of Congo; Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic; Sierra Leone; Somalia; Sudan; Tanzania and Tunisia

This meeting will be a visible sign of the willingness of the UN and AU to work together in the interests of international peace and security. The underlying logic behind this cooperation is one of comparative advantage. There are some things that the Security Council does best and there are other things that regional and sub-regional bodies with their knowledge of local dynamics and on-the-ground conditions are better placed to advance. The potential for conflict resolution and cooperation is increased when the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations have a clear understanding of their respective roles.

The joint AU/UN meeting on the 16th is therefore an opportunity to exchange views on how best to maximise the relationship between the UN Security Council and regional organisations – in particular the AU - and on specific measures to further cooperation in the fields of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and conflict management. The focus here would be on issues such as mediation support, utilising the good offices of the UN and AU, early warning systems and support for the AU’s Panel of the Wise.

A particularly important topic for discussion at a time when the African Union has committed forces to large and complex peacekeeping operations in Darfur and elsewhere, is how best to secure predictable, sustainable and flexible funding and other resources as well as capacity building for regional peacekeeping operations. You would recall, in this regard, that the African Union has appealed to the UN for financial and logistical assistance to maintain and strengthen its peace activities and that African leader seek predictable funding for regional peacekeeping activities through the UN regular budget.

Measures to enhance support for the African Standby Force, including early planning and the start-up phase for operations and logistical support could be discussed and there would also be a need to consider measures to enhance peace building and post-conflict stabilisation, recovery and reconstruction processes.

Other issues on the Agenda of the Security Council for April 2008:

The mandates of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which helps to support the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South, and the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) will expire and are subject to renewal. South Africa strongly supports the mandates of both missions and hopes to see them renewed.

With regard to Sudan, the Security Council will also be closely monitoring the situation in Darfur and the status of deployment of the UN/AU mission (UNAMID). The international community continues to be concerned about the situation in Darfur and attaches great importance to the full deployment of UNAMID.

South Africa is of the view that more needs to be done to support the Middle East peace process and is concerned by the Security Council’s lack of response to recent developments in that region.

The Security Council will also receive briefings from the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on the UN Missions to Georgia and Kosovo.

AFRICA

ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS

The South African Government joins the entire international community in expressing its congratulations to the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful environment in which the recent elections for the Presidential, House of Assembly, Senate and Local Government were held.

In this regard, we join the international community in expressing our congratulations to President Thabo Mbeki for the work done, under the SADC mandate, to help create a climate conducive for the holding of these elections (through facilitation of discussions between ZANU-PF and the two MDC factions) to create conditions to ensure that the outcomes would not be contested.

Accordingly, an in response to the official announcement of the House of Assembly, Senate and Local Government elections, we congratulate all political parties for their performance in these elections.

South Africa has noted the Preliminary Report of the majority of the members of the SADC Observer Mission that “Despite the concerns raised before the elections, the mission evaluated and observed that the basic conditions for a free, peaceful and credible election were there and that the results of these elections were a credible expression of the will of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe. “

In this regard, we take cognisance of the recommendations of the SADC Observer Mission that “there is need for some changes in the electoral process in Zimbabwe so that there is equal access to state media by all political parties, voter education and the decisions made must be published.

Accordingly we express the hope that the relevant Zimbabwean authorities will indeed act upon this and other recommendations, as part of efforts to strengthen institutions of democracy in their country.”

The results available to date are

House of Assembly:

ZANU-PF: 97 seats
MDC (Tsvangirai): 99 seats
MDC (Mutambara): 10 seats
Independent: 01 seat

[There are a total 210 seats in the House of Assembly].

Senate:

ZANU-PF: 30 seats
MDC (Tsvangirai): 30 seats
House of Assembly

Local Government elections

Still awaiting the results.

Presidential elections

Still awaiting the results.
 
It is important that the expressed will of the people is respected.  The ZEC should explain the delay in the announcement of the results.  This will calm the situation and ease the tensions.

The MDC has gone to court to get the ZEC to release the results of the presidential ballot and judgement has been reserved until Monday 14 April 2008.

ZANU-PF is contesting the results in several wards and some ZEC officials have been arrested.

Mr Tsvangarai’s visit to South Africa [he met with the President of the ANC and Minister Mufamadi]. He also visited Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

There is a growing concern that the delay in announcing the results of the Presidential elections.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

“Nine days ago, the people of Zimbabwe voted in a responsible and peaceful manner.  Concerned that presidential results have yet to be released in spite of the constitutional deadline.  Urge the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to discharge its responsibility and release the results expeditiously and with transparency.  Calls upon all actors to act responsibly, exercise restraint and calm, and to address all issues regarding the elections through recourse to legal means and dialogue as necessary for the good of all Zimbabweans”

President of the ANC’s comments on 8 April 2008

I think once people have cast their votes and you have counted; whatever the results are, I think the commission is supposed to announce the results. I think keeping the nation in suspense and as you know the Zimbabwean issues has become an international issues, it’s almost keeping the international community is suspense. I don’t think it augurs very well

COSATU and ZCTU speak our on Zimbabwe elections

Combined statement issued April 8, 2008

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is not obliged to announce the council, parliamentary and senate elections as they are counted at polling stations, with results posted at each of the polling stations and announced at constituency command centres.  The ZEC is however compelled by law to announce the Presidential results.

It should be noted that all political parties including the ZANU (PF) and the MDC had party agents in all polling stations.  These party agents signed for the results before these were posted in the polling stations.  In addition to this ZCTU and other NGOs had monitors who witnessed the counting and the signing in most polling stations.

The ZANU-PF is also challenging the results in 16 parliamentary wards, just enough, if they succeed, to reverse the results in their favour and give them a majority of seats.

For that reason the ZCTU is urging all its members to remain calm, as the situation is a cliff-hanger and the popular mood is explosive.  The ZCTU is however extremely concerned that in the context of divisions in the uniformed forces and even amongst the war veterans a possibility looms that people may lose patience.

Farm invasions

On 4 April 2008 the President of the Commercial Farmers’ Union, Mr Gifford had a meeting with Ambassador Makalima and the 1st Secretary (Political).  Mr Gifford was accompanied by three farmers.

Mr Gifford conveyed the following:

  • Since the end of last week many farms have been invaded.
  • Most of these farmers were about to harvest their crops.  As a result, Zimbabwe risks losing food worth millions of American Dollars.  Dairy farmers are not allowed to milk cows with devastating consequences.

On 8 April 2008 the South African Embassy received news that two South African farms near Chinoyi had been invaded.  In the case of Mr Neels van Heerden of Sinoia Drift farm, the Embassy called the local police.  The Embassy was only informed at a later stage about the trouble on Mr Kooy’s Mungwe farm.

The Embassy forwarded a diplomatic note to the Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry on 8 April 2008 to plead for the protection of South African farmers.

An Extra-Ordinary Summit of SADC will be held in Zambia on Saturday the 12th of April 2008 to deal with developments in Zimbabwe.

KENYA

South Africa has noted recent developments in Kenya and expresses its concern about the reports of renewed violence with serious consequences on the lives of ordinary people of Kenya.

Kenya is a key player in the region and the continent, and a peaceful, stable and prosperous Kenya is a sine quo non for Africa’s future.

In this regard, we appeal to the main political protagonists in Kenya, to act in the letter and spirit of the agreement facilitated by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and reach an agreement around the constitution of the cabinet, in the best interests of Kenya, and to avoid any further destabilisation in Kenya.

SUDAN

Darfur

UN and African Union Envoys Begin New Round of Consultations

Jan Eliasson of the UN and Salim Ahmed Salim of the AU are scheduled to meet in Khartoum with Sudan’s chief negotiator on the Darfur issue, according to Nafie al-Nafie; the former rebel and the current senior assistant to the President, Minni Minawi; and Foreign Minister Deng Alor.

Talks will then be held in Juba with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Repairing relations between Sudan and its neighbour Chad are a prerequisite to resolving the crisis engulfing Darfur.

Eliasson and Mr. Salim will hold consultations from 15 to 20 April with those movements in Darfur that have not signed previous key peace accord and with representatives of civil society.

UNAMID Intensifies Political Dialogue with Government

Joint Special Representative of the UN/AU Mission in Darfur, Rodolphe Adada, held a series of high-level talks with Sudanese officials, to coordinate activities and maintain the momentum of processes that aim at creating a stable atmosphere conducive of meaningful peace talks and better security on the ground.

Discussion revolved around the status if deployment of the UNAMID troops. The coming two months are expected to witness the deployment of additional military personnel from Egypt and Ethiopia. Equipment for the Egyptian troops has already arrived and is being transported to designated locations in Darfur. An advanced force of approximately 90 is already on the ground, and the remaining troops should follow soon.

Normalisation between Chad and Sudan, within the context of the Dakar Agreement. A meeting to follow-up on the implementation of the agreement is due to take place in Libreville, Gabon, on 10 April 2008.

Joint Special Representative for Darfur is expected to fly to New York to participate in a joint meeting between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council on Africa, on 16 April 2008.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Question: Minister will President Thabo Mbeki be attending the summit in Zambia on Saturday?  And what is on his mind, what are the considerations in terms of deciding in the next few hours whether or not to meet Morgan Tsvangirai.  Are there conditions under which he won’t meet him?

Answer:  The President was travelling when the announcement of the meeting was made and he arrived very early this morning.  We are scheduled to meet after this briefing to discuss the summit.  Ofcourse he is a facilitator for SADC.  If his programmes allow, as I said he is going to Mozambique tomorrow, it is our view that the President should attend the summit if his programme allows.  It is a very important summit.  I’m sure there have been consultations at various levels for the summit to be called.

Well there are no conditions re meeting with Mr Tsvangirai.  As you know when he came the President was already on his way out of the country.  And therefore it’s only this morning that we’ve been made aware of the MDC request to President Mbeki.  We will convey this to him today and it is our view, if Mr Tsvangirai is in town and before the President leaves for the next meeting and his programme allows it, it is important to hear what Mr Tsvangirai has to say.

Question: Deputy Minister, at the SADC meeting, it seems clear now that there is going to be a run-off, even ZANU-PF is saying so, will South Africa insist through SADC that if there is a run-off that election guidelines will be followed quite strictly during that run-off.  And the ZEC says that, its excuse is that it’s a complicated process that is why there are no results yet.  Are you suggesting today that that excuse is running thin as far as the South African government is concerned?

Answer:  No the key thing about the run-off, it’s clear that everybody has come to the conclusion about the run-off, and ofcourse as we’ve tried to do during the elections of the 29th, we will try to ensure that there is strict adherence to the guidelines of SADC. And indeed it is my view that South Africa’s and Sac’s and indeed the AU, the other regions like ECOWAS etc but indeed the international community as a whole must work together to ensure that whatever we do creates conditions for these run-offs to take place in the same atmosphere of peace and stability.  Because otherwise as you know there is no hope that you will be able to deal with the situation in Zimbabwe.  Given that people are watching the situation so closely we must make sure that this run-off is held under the best conditions possible.

No I don’t know about excuses.  I just read the Secretary-General’s statement, he also calls for calm.  Suddenly the word calm has become a swear word.  Calm by its very nature means don’t resort to any unconstitutional means to try to resolve any concerns one has.  Infact in Zimbabwe and anywhere else you need a situation of calm despite concerns and tensions.  You don’t want any resort to violence which can only be disastrous for Zimbabwe. 

So there is a court case going on while they are contesting many wards.  And we do hope that this does not delay the processes of announcing for too long because to take any meaningful action, you have to wait for the results in order to plan what should be happening next. 

Question: Minister you’ve said it’s not time to lose patience, the MDC is warning that there will be violence if there isn’t any intervention.  And you yourself have said that there are farm invasions.  The international community has called for the results to be released.  When will the South African government lose its patience?  

Answer:  It’s not a question of losing patience.  Government has to work within certain frameworks, all governments.  And I keep saying this, NGOs including the ruling party which when it’s speaking on behalf of the party can work within a framework that is not how governments have to work. 

Our allies COSATU have also made their statement clear.  Church leaders have made their positions clear.  NGOs can say things and express their views differently from how governments have to act.  We have to consult at every level including within SADC.  And indeed this summit that SADC has called will be an opportunity for the region as a whole to assess the situation and consider what we can do to help the Zimbabwean people resolve any outstanding problems we have.

So it’s not a question of losing patience.  In diplomacy you can’t lose patience because when you lose patience, you go to war.  And we are not about to go to war.

Question: I just want your comments on Ms Helen Zille’s call for the Zimbabwean question to be put by South Africa to the Security Council.  Another question is whether there is any legal timeframes for the results to be announced?  How long are we supposed to wait for them?  Another question is what do you think South Africa can do more about this situation to be resolved?

Answer:  I don’t know of Zille’s call for Zimbabwe to go to the Security Council.  It’s clear she doesn’t understand the processes of issues that can get onto the Security Council agenda.  And therefore calls like this that are not based on any realistic understanding of processes are just meaningless, I think.

Yes the presidential elections according to the law should have been announced 21 days after the elections.  There is some debate on that.  I believe it was 21 days after the election polling stations have closed.  21 days was a maximum period within which the presidential elections should have been announced.

What more can South Africa do?  I think I did indicate that there is a facilitator who did, I believe, very much in terms of trying to create conditions for the elections.  I believe the results are a reflection of this situation.  We with SADC will continue to see what we can do to ensure that the will of the people is reflected and that the way the Zimbabweans solve their problems will be without any resort to violence, and indeed must be done in a peaceful way.  Therefore we will continue to argue as I’ve said so many times that we will do everything to ensure that the will of the people must be reflected.  And once these election results come, we will then act accordingly.

Question: Minister, there’s not been a statement from the South African government expressing a worry that there is a contest of certain constituencies or polling stations, yet the results are not out in terms of the presidential elections.  And yet there is a number of polling stations that are said to be contested by ZANU-PF.  Why is there no expression at all of concern that the results are being delayed, they are being contested and there is also talk of a rerun?  There just seems to be confusion here, even the SADC principles would have surely preferred otherwise.

Answer:  As I tried to express earlier, there is contestation of election results.  The results have not been given.  They’ve gone to court to get the election results announced urgently.  It’s very difficult as government to announce on any of these matters because of the procedures that are being followed through the courts and elsewhere.

And as I tried to explain as government we have to tackle such delicate issues as the Zimbabwean one, there are many more, in a way that helps contribute to finding a solution rather than creating conditions for greater problems in any country, in this case Zimbabwe.  So we are actively involved through our various missions, through the presidency itself. 

As I said Minister Mufamadi met Mr Tsvangirai a few days ago.  The president of the ANC met Mr Tsvangirai.  They have not made public what was discussed.  I think that in itself reflects the sensitivity and delicacy of this period.   Even the MDC has felt that at this stage it is not proper for them to reveal the nature of the discussions that they’ve been having with the various leaders in South Africa.

I think it is those circumstances that guide us as government on how to handle this particular period in the Zimbabwean history.  It is a very crucial period in the Zimbabwean history.  What we as government do can either help the Zimbabweans to find a solution or create conditions for greater problems in Zimbabwe.  As government we have taken the view that there is a facilitation team that is under Minister Mufamadi and the presidency.  And we will at all times when they think it is appropriate give more elaborate reading of the situation.  We will expect then to do that.  As Foreign Affairs we can only talks of the situation as we see it, which is not fully in tune with what is happening at the Facilitation level.

Question: Minister Pahad I just wanted to check with you that there is also talk of Mr Tsvangirai trying to seek asylum in Botswana.  Are you aware of this?  Have you heard anything to this effect?

Answer:  The one thing about Zimbabwe at the moment is that rumours and counter rumours are penny by the dozen.  I don’t know why Mr Tsvangirai would want to seek asylum in Botswana.  We have not heard of any such rumour.  We believe he is confident that the elections results that were being announced were according to what they had predicted.  He is confident that if there is a rerun the opposition would be successful.  And so there is no need for him to seek any asylum.  We don’t know anything of that sort.

Question: Minister you said that you have to tread carefully because unlike NGOs, you are government.  But Jose Manuel Barosso in Brussels is not having an NGO, Washington is not an NGO.  They’ve called for results to be published as soon as possible and they are not NGOs.

Answer:  We have called for the votes to be announced as soon as possible.  Even today you’ll see that I’m calling for that.

Question:  About the SADC mandate, you’ve said the goal was to lead to free and fair elections and a system that would ensure that the results are not contested by any of the parties.  Has the mandate, has the mission failed?

Answer:  No.  It is my considered view, and I believe it is everybody’s view, including the opposition in Zimbabwe and the international community generally, that in the short period of the facilitation getting the conditions created for the government and the two factions of the MDC to meet collectively, led to a situation of agreement on many issues including Amendment 18 which dealt with all the aspects of the media, freedom of expression etc.  And other amendments to the constitution which created conditions for nobody to challenge that on the day, although the turnout was exceptionally low, but that’s nothing new to Zimbabwe and many countries, that although the turnout was low we are convinced that the people were able to express their will through the secret ballot.

So I don’t believe that the facilitation has failed.  I think it created the conditions for people to go and vote.  People went to vote.  The results are reflective of the people’s will.  The only problem is the delay in announcing the presidential elections. 

So in the totality of what has been achieved I want to believe that the facilitation, supported by all of SADC, has been a success.

Question:  Minister you’ve talked about appealing for calm.  Is there any direct appeal from South Africa to the Zimbabweans?

Answer:  Yes, in several of our speeches we’ve called on all Zimbabweans to obey the law and to remain calm and patient understanding that there’s growing tensions, allegations of vote rigging etc.  So in this context and now there are new allegations of violence against MDC by what is termed war veterans.

So we are calling on everybody to obey the law, including on farm invasions, not to carry out any actions that are against the law.  And therefore it is in the interests of Zimbabwe to sustain this situation where Zimbabweans have shown tremendous seriousness.  Many sectors have been angry at the delay.  They’ve not resorted to violence. And that I think is a very good thing for Zimbabwe.

And we’ve always and will continue to call on the people of Zimbabwe to await the election results and not to resort to any unconstitutional means.  This is a message to all sides.

Question: There were shortcomings reported by all missions, including those you mentioned by SADC.  Do you hope that before the run-off that those shortcomings would be addressed?  Things like the access of more observer groups, more independent observer groups, and access for independent journalists to oversee those elections.  And then the basis for these farm invasions is allegations by ZANU-PF that white farmers had returned and threatened to reclaim the land that they had been dispossessed of.  Has your intelligence sources indicated whether there is any truth or any substance to this at all?

Answer:  If you read the SADC, the AU and the other preliminary findings you will find that all refer to certain shortcomings.  I just read out a few of them.  I don’t know whether in the run up to the elections there’s going to be enough time to deal with all those shortcomings.

I do hope that the resources will be there for the observers to return for the run-off, because the run-off will be crucial.  We hope that SADC will take a decision to return the observers at the appropriate time.  All this will depend on whether we will be invited to go to the run-off.  We have no reason to believe that we will not be invited to the run-off. 

But it will be important that we have substantial observers to really be confident at the end that the will of the people was expressed.  So we will continue to argue for SADC observers to return to Zimbabwe for the run-off.

These allegations of white farmers, personally I cannot take them seriously.  It will be foolhardy for any white farmer to go around reclaiming land when they don’t even know what the results of the elections are.  I don’t know where they would come from, who would bus them and from where.  So in the absence of any substantial proof on this matter, I would treat them not that seriously.

Question: Minister, there were reports last week about diplomatic efforts, secret diplomatic efforts to try to get President Mugabe to concede defeat and step down.  Was South Africa involved in any efforts of that nature?  And also we don’t publicly call for results to be released soon.  Is South Africa applying any pressure on Zimbabwe to release the results immediately?

Answer:  No we are not a government that asks other presidents to step down.  We hope nobody will tell when our presidents must step down.  It is the will of the South African people; it is not the will of any government.  And we will never, while we are in government, ever allow a situation where we ask other presidents to step down.

What basis will we have to do that?  We are not Zimbabweans.  They are not the tenth province of our country; therefore we will never do that.

Through the facilitation process and through our interactions at various levels, we are in constant touch with all sectors of the Zimbabwean society.  The opposition, two oppositions, Simba Makoni, the government the Zimbabwean NGOs to discuss with them what is their assessment of the situation. 

As the Deputy President (Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka) said on her visit to the Netherlands, people are overestimating what South Africa can do.  We are not a hegemonistic power in the region that on the whim of South Africans can impose its will on any country.

We can’t take on the weakest countries and we don’t intend to do that.  Within the framework which is wrongly classified as quiet diplomacy. There is no other diplomacy; diplomacy by its very nature is done in various ways.  Every government knows how diplomacy works.  And so in that way we’ve been engaged with the Zimbabwean situation for well over ten years in terms of assisting the Zimbabweans find a way of solving their problems.  We’ve been doing that bilaterally, through SADC and through any other multilateral efforts that are made.

I want to stress what the Deputy President has said, if we South Africans suddenly go into an illusionary frame of mind that what we think can happen, must happen then we are living in very dangerous times.  There is no South African government that will try to impose its will or force, and that will never happen.

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

10 April 2008

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