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

v19/20 1 Oct 04

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CONTENTS

Region:

Burundi elections cannot be held before deadline UN admits

Congo:

Key citizenship law approved at last

Region:

UN peace force deal reopens debate on private security

International:

SA seeks to keep UN competition under wraps

Angola:

Inside view - Dos Santos is likely to survive democracy

Zambia:

Angolan opposition leader to be deported

Region:

DRC slams Zambia over fugitive Chiluba ally

International:

More evidence that 'coup' bid was well-known in UK and US

Mozambique:

Guebuza bids for investment but business stays wary

SA politics:

ANC turns on newspaper over travel scam

SA economy:

Pay dispute ends but economic pressures remain


Region:

Burundi elections cannot be held before deadline, UN admits

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] In a significant setback to the peace process , the UN's operation in Burundi has decided that the constitutional referendum due on the 20 October cannot be held on time. The referendum is, according to the official timetable, a precondition for the local and legislative elections which are due before November 1 under the terms of the Arusha peace agreement.

A delay was always a likelihood, but the key mediator, South Africa, has held adamantly to the deadline. On August 17, SA's Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad again warned against any attempt to delay the scheduled elections, saying this would be seen as an indication that one side or the other was trying to sabotage the process (SouthScan v19/17). ...>>> Full Report

No legitimacy...

Princess for president...>>> Full Report


Congo:

Key citizenship law approved at last

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] One of the essential laws due to be adopted during the transition process in the DR Congo to open the way for elections in mid-2005 was voted through on 25 September by the national assembly.

The law clarifies who should be allowed to vote. As in the past, the principle of double citizenship is rejected. It recognizes that all the members of an ethnic groups present on the Congolese soil at the moment of independence are entitled to be Congolese citizens....

More pressure needed...>>> Full Report


Region:

UN peace force deal reopens debate on private security

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] At the same time as the UN security council was considering where to find the additional troops needed for the UN force in the DR Congo, Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo was launching a fresh attack in the general assembly on mercenary activities on the continent. The general view was that this made the climate for considering the use of private security companies to buttress the UN's hard-pressed peace operations in Africa even more difficult.

Citing the recent "attempted invasions of Equatorial Guinea" Obasanjo, also the AU chairperson, told the 59th UN general assembly under way this week in New York, called on the the UN to join the AU in "sending the right signals of condemnation to those mercenaries and their sponsors." He used the issue of mercenarism as a platform to press for the reform of the UN and for the a seat for Nigeria on the security council....

5,900 more troops...

PMCs call for UN review...

Mercenarism law...

Briefing paper>>> Full Report


International:

SA seeks to keep UN competition under wraps

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] South Africa is anxious that the competition for an African UN security council seat should not disturb relations with other African contenders, and particularly with Nigeria, current Africa Union president. However, the lobbying is bound to increase up to December, when an internal UN panel will present its report on reform. It is reportedly close to a first draft.

SA's Department of Foreign Affairs this week expressed regret at speculation on its bid for a seat on the UNSC. Yet a few days earlier President Thabo Mbeki and Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa was ready to serve as a permanent member....>>> Full Report


Angola:

Inside view - Dos Santos is likely to survive democracy

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] After 25 years at the helm, José Eduardo dos Santos, could well remain in office beyond the 2006 elections, a number of disenchanted Angolan intellectuals anticipate. He was able to survive poverty, the guerrilla war, the 27 May 1977 clashes within the ruling MPLA, the collapse of the Berlin wall and Jonas Savimbi. The irony of history is that he could also survive democracy, writes the Angolan novelist José Eduardo Agualusa, in a column published by the Lisbon-based Público daily on the 22 September.

The view is shared by Rafael Marques, who represents the 'Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa', in Luanda. Dos Santos' 25 years rule was characterized by war, corruption and a personality cult. This could have been enough to generate a staunch opposition but he has managed to transform the Angolan state into a client system. He not only privatized the state but also forced the opposition to surrender and domesticated it. Accordingly, there is no longer a genuine protest movement. For all those reasons, Marques does not believe that a power change can happen in Angola, even if the elections take place in 2006....>>> Full Report


Zambia:

Angolan opposition leader to be deported

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] The arrested Angolan opposition party leader of the United Party for the People of Angola (PUPA), Martinho Ngola, is appealling to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) following the Zambian government's decision to deport him back to Angola.

Ngola was arrested in Zambia on August 16 by Zambian security officers and if he is sent back to Angola he will face trial. He wants the UNHCR to intervene because he fears his life will be in danger; the UNHCR has not yet made a decision, and the Zambian government has not said when they will deport him....

Unita guns fuel crime...>>> Full Report


Region:

DRC slams Zambia over fugitive Chiluba ally

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] Repercussions of the Zambian government's attempt to pin down corruption charges against former president Frederick Chiluba has being felt over the border. The DR Congo's envoy to Zambia said on Wednesday that he was "fed up" with allegations from Lusaka that his country was helping opposition parties trying to destabilise its neighbour.

Zambia's Vice President Nevers Mumba said two weeks ago he had received information that the DRC was being used to channel illicit funds to some opposition parties who were fomenting unrest....

New party formed...>>> Full Report


International:

More evidence that 'coup' bid was well-known in UK and US

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] Adding to evidence that the US had been forewarned of an attempted coup bid in Equatorial Guinea (SouthScan v19/06 et seq.), news emerged last week of a possible British MI6 link.

The London Times reported on September 19 that the nephew of the former head of Britain's foreign secret service MI6 had close business links with Simon Mann, the former SAS officer in jailed for seven years in Harare. The report did not imply that he was involved in any way, but it again revealed the close-knit nature of the British elite as well as its links within elite African circles, and the interrelatedness of the British security business, intelligence and minerals exploitation in Africa....

Link to EO...

US connection...>>> Full Report


Mozambique:

Guebuza bids for investment but business stays wary

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] With two months to go before the presidential election Mozambique's Frelimo candidate, Armando Guebuza, has been talking up his country's economic future and seeking private investment to replace its reliance on foreign aid.

Mozambique, this week celebrating the 40th anniversary of the start of its liberation war, will hold its third democratic elections on December 1 and 2 and Guebuza is Frelimo's secretary-general and presidential candidate....

Unfriendly climate...

Chissano on farewell tour>>> Full Report


SA politics:

ANC turns on newspaper over travel scam

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] South Africa's ruling African National Congress and 92 of its serving and former members of parliament, including four cabinet ministers, have threatened to sue the Nigerian-owned and Johannesburg-based ThisDay newspaper for R48 million (approximately US$7.4 million) for publishing a list of names in connection with an investigation into a parliamentary travel voucher scam. The list appeared in the newspaper on September 2.

The action against the struggling paper seems to be pitting the concerns of the ruling group in parliament against the interests, unspoken, of foreign affairs....>>> Full Report


SA economy:

Pay dispute ends but economic pressures remain

SouthScan v19/20 1 Oct 04] The government's pay dispute with its white collar workers ended with a deal being struck with with five of the eight public service unions representing more than 75% of public servants who took action. They accepted a three-year agreement, but analysts say tensions are bound to build again because of the continuing pressure of unemployment on wages and conditions.

Latest figures show that SA is moving into a period of economic growth but without the creation of jobs, even for qualified school leavers....

Reform call...

 

Gambling troubles away>>> Full Report