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

v20/20 9 October 05

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CONTENTS

[Page numbers as in PDF file]

Angola:
Dos Santos seeks to pass the buck on lack of donor support P.1

Congo:
Divisions follow increased pressure on Hutu rebels P.2

Congo:
Unpublished report on war contracts may rock president P.4

Botswana:
Important players change sides in Bushmen saga P.4

Zimbabwe:
Restiveness in army over wages and food P.5

Swaziland:
Arson attacks as king calls on Swazis to back constitution P.5

Zambia:
Riot police out as fuel crisis deepens P.6

SA economy:
India threatens arms deals, but Denel likely to weather the storm P.6

SA development:
Missiles head list of recent arms purchases P.7

SA politics:
Curtailing Scorpions may end probe into magnate’s affairs P.7

 


Angola:

Dos Santos seeks to pass the buck on lack of donor support

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] The European Union has denied that it has called off the proposed donors' conference for Angola, saying it was up to the Angolan government to request it.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said last week that the European Union had scrapped the idea of a donors' conference.  "Representatives of the executive commission of the European Union have told us that it is no longer necessary to hold an international conference for the reconstruction of Angola because Angola has mineral resources," Dos Santos said. ...

Displaced people ...

Private oil companiesAbout 20 countries - including Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Azerbaijan and Nigeria - have endorsed or were actively implementing the Eiti. Angola has not.... >>> Full Report

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Congo:

Divisions follow increased pressure on Hutu rebels

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] The Rwandan Hutu rebels in the DR Congo are under increasing pressure from the UN and of regional states to disarm and return to their home country. As a result, more splits have been reported among the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (DFLR) who include former ex-Rwandan Army Forces, former Interhamwe militias involved in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and young men recruited in the Rwandan refugee camps in the Congo.

One dissident group has been making tentative moves towards a mediated negotiation with Rwanda, but at the same time there are suspicions that factions in the Kinshasa transitional government are not keen that the forces should be totally disbanded. ...

Dissident groups ...

Scepticism remainsAnd above all, there are the hidden agendas among the power factions in Kinshasa....

Kinshasa factions ...>>> Full Report

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Congo:

Unpublished report on war contracts may rock president

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] The commission of enquiry set up last year by the Congolese national assembly to review all the contracts signed by the Congolese state during the two wars, 1996-1997 and 1998-2003, handed its final report in May to the national assembly chairman, Olivier Kamitatu. But since then nothing has happened and Kamitatu is now being accused of deliberately blocking publication of the report.

'Le Phare' daily says that the "ultra-sensitivity" of the report's content may be the reason. Parliamentary sources say the leaders of the transitional government and specifically the president and the vice-presidents are accused in the report and any disclosure may be extremely damaging for them in the forthcoming electoral campaign, the paper claims. ...

Gecamines investigated ...>>> Full Report

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Botswana:

Important players change sides in Bushmen saga

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] The saga of the expulsion of the Bushman community from their central Kalahari homes in Botswana has taken a fresh turn that is threatening to undermine Botswana's prized reputation for moderation and development in Africa.

On September 26, the UK-based NGO Survival International reported that several leaders of the Bushmen (also called the Basarwa in Botswana or the San people) organization 'First People of the Kalahari' (FPK) had been arrested and imprisoned two days earlier at the New Xade resettlement village. They were among a group of 28 Bushmen, including seven children who were seized by police as they tried to enter "their ancestral homeland" in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). ...>>> Full Report

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Zimbabwe:

Restiveness in army over wages and food

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] With the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe worsening daily, there has been restiveness in the normally loyal security forces.

President Robert Mugabe responded last week by calling for vigilance against a "vicious imperialist onslaught" by Britain and the US, while praising the role of the armed forces in the land reform. ...

Police replaced ...>>> Full Report

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Swaziland:

Arson attacks as king calls on Swazis to back constitution

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] Last weekend King Mswati told a meeting at the university in Mbabane where he is the chancellor that it was every Swazi's duty to support the new constitution. The call came in the midst of series of fire bombings that police called the work of the banned People's United Democratic Movement (Pudemo). It has denied any involvement.

Swaziland has since the late 1990s witnessed a series of bombings as part of the continuous campaign for democratic rights. The most serious attack was at the end of 2000 when a bomb exploded in an army camp (SouthScan v16/01). ...

Income disparity ...>>> Full Report

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Zambia:

Riot police out as fuel crisis deepens

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05]  Zambia's capital Lusaka was tense on Friday as heavily armed riot police flooded the city to forestall a mass demonstration against the fuel shortages that are threatening to cripple the economy and daily life, and worsen food shortages.

Off-duty police officers were called back to work and all trainees were called in to make up a heavy police presence to quash the expected demonstration. Fuel shortages have hit the country for almost a month. ...>>> Full Report

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SA economy:

India threatens arms deals, but Denel likely to weather the storm

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] The struggling SA state arms firm Denel was under fresh pressure this week after news broke that the Indian government might cancel a R24m contract and that other lucrative contracts might be endangered. It alleged Denel had tried to bribe officials and had used an outside agent.

The accusations follow the quiet sacking of a senior manager in July after alleged involvement in a bribery case in the Middle East, with a reported threat from some Gulf states to boycott Denel from a potentially lucrative market. In April there were reports that the Scorpions detective squad was investigating alleged kickbacks paid by Denel. ...>>> Full Report

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SA development:

Missiles head list of recent arms purchases

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] The SA National Defence Force has bought or developed a number of missile systems as part of its armaments acquisition programme. It is at the same time selling off large quantities of redundant hardware and has also subscribed to a US computer-based system for predicting conflict and developing arms.

The moves are part of the rearmament programme the SANDF began in 1999, but also seem geared to the overall rationalisation of the force to make it better able to engage on the African continent. This has recently involved more recruiting to compensate for the over-age and often ill personnel currently available (SouthScan v20/12). ..

Clients for weapons ...

SADC police in training ...>>> Full Report

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SA politics:

Curtailing Scorpions may end probe into magnate's affairs

[(c) SouthScan v20/20 9 Oct 05] Top government ministers have gone out on a limb to praise Brett Kebble, the mining magnate gunned down two weeks ago in Johannesburg.

Many in the media are now asking what their high profile defence means - and especially whether Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad's attacks on the media at the funeral this Friday were intended to warn journalists against probing too deeply into Kebble's business affairs. Earlier Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called Kebble "this great South African". ...

Rival intelligence agency ...>>> Full Report