South Africa is preparing to swear in Jacob Zuma, leader of the African National Congress, as president. Nearly 30 heads of state will join an expected crowd of 30,000 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for the ceremony.
Security is tight with streets around the Union Buildings – the president’s office – closed to traffic. Analysts say Mr. Zuma, 67, brings a populist touch to the presidency, ensuring a very different leadership to that of Thabo Mbeki.
Another questionable era starts for South Africa but then again anything after Mbeki will be better!
South Africa has joined international calls for Zimbabwe‘s electoral commission to release the results of last month’s presidential election.
A South African government spokesman said they should be published as soon as possible. South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki is mediating in Zimbabwe’s crisis but has been accused of failing to put pressure on Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. The opposition MDC says it won the election outright.
Government spokesman Themba Maseko said there was a fear that the situation in Zimbabwe could deteriorate because the results of the presidential poll had not been released. “It is our view that all the participants should come together, sort out all the causes of the delay, and then release the results as a matter of urgency,” he said. When asked whether South Africa still adhered to a policy of “quiet diplomacy” in dealings with Zimbabwe, Mr. Maseko said that South Africa’s position had not “been coming out as clearly as it should.”
About time for South Africa and Mbeki to do something!
South African President Thabo Mbeki has defended his record on Zimbabwe, while playing down the crisis at a UN debate.
His governing ANC party, however, said it was concerned about the deepening crisis brewing in its neighbor. Gordon Brown told the UN Security Council no one believed Robert Mugabe won last month’s presidential election in the country.
Meanwhile, the opposition in Zimbabwe said 50 supporters were arrested after a strike over delayed poll results. Mr. Mbeki had said there was “no crisis” in Zimbabwe after meeting Mr. Mugabe on Saturday. He defended those remarks in New York, saying dialogue was essential to bring about a resolution to the situation in Zimbabwe, where 18 days after presidential elections, electoral officials have yet to announce a result.
“The solution to the problem of Zimbabwe lies in the hands of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said. “In our engagement with the situation, we needed to talk continuously at all times with both the ruling party and the opposition.”
The truth Mr. Mbeki, Mr. UN General Secretary, African Union and the rest of you is that you failed and the people of Zimbabwe have to pay your failure, Mugabe the caricature African Hitler is still on power and there is no excuse for that!