Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.

v19/17 20 Aug 04

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CONTENTS

Zimbabwe:

NGOs mull over their survival strategy in face of new law

SADC sets itself a high standard for forthcoming election

World Bank impact was negligible in face of government refusals

More trust Mugabe than Tsvangirai

Region:

Non-aligned focus on foreign issue

Massacre sparks renewed fear of regional war

Mozambique:

Renamo guards in gun battle

Angola:

8,000 refugees return home from Zambia

 

SA politics:

Mbeki welcomes NNP's demise

SA development:

Sharp response follows government attack on media

SA politics:

French arms maker seeks way out after Zuma case collapse

SA economy:

Arms companies face fines after failing offsets test

Region:

SA, France agree to boost Mozambican naval patrols

SA development:

HIV/AIDS in military given as '23 percent'

Zimbabwe:

NGOs mull over their survival strategy in face of new law

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] Faced with a proposed new Bill that seeks to shut down non-governmental organisations critical of government ahead of the March 2005 elections, NGOs in Zimbabwe are mulling over a survival strategy which may include lobbying regional bodies, street demonstrations and court action.

The Bill is believed to be aimed largely at Western-funded human rights organizations which President Robert Mugabe accuses of working in cahoots with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to effect 'regime change'. It seeks to cripple these groups by depriving them of foreign funding and allowing a government-dominated council to decide on registration and deregistration matters....

Wide interpretation... >>>Full report


Zimbabwe:

SADC sets itself a high standard for forthcoming election

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] The Southern African Development Community summit in Mauritius this week has set the regional organisation a crucial test on Zimbabwe for next year. It has spelled out how a fair election there should be run ahead of the March 2005 poll, and has said it will expel Zimbabwe if it does not comply.

After its defence of President Robert Mugabe in the face of international criticism and attacks from internal opponents, SADC will now have to face the self-imposed task of bringing him to book if he fails to run a fair poll....

Normalising relations...

International observers... >>>Full report


Zimbabwe:

World Bank impact was negligible in face of government refusals

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] The World Bank's assistance programmes in Zimbabwe have been largely "unsatisfactory" over the past two decades, according to a new independent assessment.

The Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE) report released in May this year says the impact of the Bank's programmes on the country's overall development between 1980 and 2001 was "negligible", but it laid the main blame on the obduracy of the Zimbabwe government, which had rejected Bank guidelines....>>>Full report


Zimbabwe:

More trust Mugabe than Tsvangirai

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] Some 46 percent of Zimbabweans say they trust President Robert Mugabe, compared to just 18 percent for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, according to an independent survey released on Wednesday.

The results appear a verdict on the opposition, which has singularly failed to dent the hold on power by the ruling party, Zanu-PF, while also coming under prolonged attack from the state media....>>>Full report


Region:

Non-aligned focus on foreign issue and avoid Zimbabwe

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] The Non-Aligned Movement conference in Durban this week was expected to avoid the Zimbabwe issue, while SA's President Thabo Mbeki, the former NAM chairman, was expected to swing the debate onto international issues and to focus strongly on the need for multilateralism.

A draft policy declaration this week suggested that delegates "update" the declaration on Zimbabwe issued by NAM heads of state and government at their last meeting in Malaysia in February last year....>>>Full report


Region:

Massacre sparks renewed fear of regional war

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] A flurry of regional and international meetings and a call for the doubling of the UN force in the DR Congo followed the massacre last week of around 160 ethnic Tutsi Congolese refugees in Burundi. At the burial ceremony a banner was unfurled reading 'The genocide of Tutsis is a reality', thrusting to the fore again the key issue of the Tutsi minority in the Great Lakes area.

There has been universal concern that the incident at the Gatumba refugee camp could trigger a new conflagration in the Great Lakes area, but urgent requests this week from the UN secretary general Kofi Annan to have the peace force in the DR Congo doubled have been turned down. The events also increased pressure for an enlargement of the UN force in Burundi....

Rapid summitry...

Burundi deal...

UN force...>>>Full report


Mozambique:

Renamo guards in gun battle with police

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] Mozambique's national police chief on Wednesday called on around 150 armed members of the former rebel movement Renamo to surrender their weapons following a gun battle in central Sofala province last week that left one policeman dead.

The battle broke out on August 12 in the central town of Inhaminga, some 150 km northwest of the port city of Beira, when Renamo armed guards tried to prevent police from arresting two of their members. ...>>>Full report


Angola:

8,000 refugees return home from Zambia

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] Around 8,000 Angolan refugees have returned home from Zambia over the past six months, including 6,600 who went back last month, a report by UN humanitarian officials said this week. There are 200,000 Angolan refugees in Zambia, the largest group.

However, lack of funds for food together with poor infrastructure and widespread landmines are hitting efforts to resettle the refugees....>>>Full report


SA politics:

Mbeki welcomes NNP's demise, De Klerk resigns

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] The New National Party leadership's decision to dissolve the party immediately after its 90th anniversary in August, was unavoidable, President Thabo Mbeki said last week. Writing in the African National Congress' online publication, 'ANC Today', Mbeki said the recommendation that its members and supporters should join the ANC was courageous and far-sighted

But former president FW de Klerk resigned from the party, deploring that its members would now fall under ANC discipline. The NNP has 250,000 supporters and it is uncertain how many of its members will join the ANC, itself suffering from falling rolls....>>>Full report


SA development:

Sharp response follows government attack on media

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] The attempts by the SA government to browbeat the press into keeping quiet about a potential al-Qaeda threat (SouthScan v19/16) have brought a rapid international response.

The Washington-based World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC) this week said it was concerned at the "South African government's attempts to muzzle media" over the issue....>>>Full report


SA politics:

French arms maker seeks way out after Zuma case collapse

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] The French arms company implicated in the corruption charges against Deputy President Jacob Zuma is seeking to have the court withdraw charges. The head of prosecution authority investigating the allegations resigned last month after Zuma effectively won the bout.

"The French company has launched a civil action against the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) demanding that charges are withdrawn against them," NPA spokesman Makhosini Nkosi said....

Arrest warrants...>>>Full report


SA economy:

Arms companies face fines after failing offsets test

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] Two of the five arms companies contracted to manufacture ships, submarines, helicopters and fighter aircraft for the SA armaments re-equipment programme might have to pay millions of Rands in fines for not meeting their deadlines to invest in the domestic economy and create more jobs.

When the R29 billion arms deal was signed in 2000 armament companies undertook to invest in the South African industrial sector, generating R104 billion and 65,000 jobs (SouthScan v16/03 et seq). Critics of the arms re-equipment deal repeatedly referred to the record of the international arms industry and its failure to compensate with offset deals, while the government stressed that the rapidly mounting costs would be recovered in this way....>>>Full report


 

Region:

SA, France agree to boost Mozambican naval patrols

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] The South African and French navies signed an agreement in Pretoria on Tuesday which will see two former SA Navy harbour patrol boats handed over to the Mozambican navy in early September.

It is part of an attempt to re-equip coastal African countries with the means to defend their waters from illegal fishing, piracy and drug smuggling syndicates....>>>Full report


 

 

SA development:

HIV/AIDS in military given as '23 percent'

SouthScan v19/17 20 Aug 04] SA's National Defence Force has an estimated HIV/AIDS infection rate of 23 per cent, after assessments for deployment on foreign peace-keeping missions.

Director of the SANDF's health service Gen. Pieter Oelofse made the report in a briefing to the National Assembly's defence portfolio committee this week and confirmed that 30 per cent of the soldiers tested failed to meet physical standards for deployment abroad....>>>Full report