South Africa-Zimbabwe relations – 31 August 2015

An assessment of South Africa’s mediatory role in Zimbabwe (2007-2013), as well as the current state of SA-Zim relations and possible future developments


Date: Monday, 31 August 2015

Venue: University of Cape Town, Middle Campus, Kramer Law Lecture Theatre 3


Welcoming Remarks by Tawanda Sachikonye, SALO (above) and Renate Tenbusch, South Africa Resident Director, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) (Below)

Renate Tenbusch

Prof Mills Soko

Prof Mills Soko, Associate Professor of International Political Economy at the Graduate School of Business (GBS), University of Cape Town

Prof Brian Raftopoulos

Prof Brian Raftopoulos, Director of Research and Advocacy, Solidarity Peace Trust

Sanusha Naidu

Sanusha Naidu, South African Foreign Policy Expert and Researcher

Webster Zambara3

Webster Zambara, Senior Project Leader for the Southern Africa Desk, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)

Bram Hanekom

Bram Hanekom, ANC Alliance and refugee rights activist (PASSOP)


Closing remarks: Sambulo Mathebula, SALO

Hate Crimes in South Africa – 26 August 2015, University of Cape Town


For the past few years South Africa (SA) has had an increasing prevalence of intolerance and lack of social cohesion, which has resulted in violence out breaks throughout the country. On the backdrop of this rising violence towards the Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons in SA, the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) hosted a dialogue on August 26th 2015 under the theme ‘Hate Crime in South Africa’. The purpose of the dialogue was to bring a variety of stakeholders together to discuss the various challenges faced by the LGBTI community on a daily basis and to explore possible solutions. The discussion centred around disagreements regarding criminalising hate speech in SA and exploring ways to ensure that members of the LGBTI community feel as safe as any other ordinary citizen in SA.


CAR – 25 August 2015

The United Nations Security Council Committee concerning the Central African Republic (CAR) has imposed sanctions against the CAR’s diamond trading company and its Belgian branch, along with three individuals who have been deemed by the Council to be linked to the ongoing conflict in the CAR. The sanctioned diamond trading company is detailed in the Security Council announcement as Bureau d’achat de Diamant en Centrafrique (BADICA), also known as Kardiam, which is reportedly BADICA’s Belgium-based representative company.
Operating under Security Council Resolution 2196 (2015), paragraphs 4 and 7, the sanctions specifically declare all the company’s assets to be frozen.
Diamonds Intelligence

U.S. Imposes Sanctions Tied to Conflict in Central African Republic
The U.S. imposed a round of sanctions on militia leaders it says are responsible for violence in Central African Republic, as well as on two companies that are allegedly facilitating trade in blood diamonds.
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Friday it targeted Alfred Yekatom and Habib Soussou, leaders of Anti-Balaka armed groups, and Oumar Younous, a leader of the Seleka armed group. Treasury also targeted Badica, one of the largest diamond companies in the Central African Republic, and Kardiam, its branch in Antwerp, Belgium.
Wall Street Journal

Madagascar – 25 August 2015

Madagascar faces uphill struggle to revive bruised mining sector
When foreign mining firms and Western donors were pulling funds out of Madagascar following a coup in 2009, Austral Resources chief executive Scott Reid did the opposite and poured money in to the Indian Ocean island.
Yet far from being rewarded, the company’s $3.5 million investment in drilling and exploration of a high-grade mine has turned sour. Austral’s permit to extract zircon, used in ceramics, has expired and the project is far from production.

Zimbabwe – 25 August 2015

Sanlam eyes move into Zimbabwe
SANLAM Emerging Markets says it is looking to expand into Zimbabwe in the next year or two after its Kenyan subsidiary made an acquisition in a short-term insurance business in the east African country.
Sanlam Emerging Markets said Kenyan subsidiary Pan African Insurance Holdings (PAIHL) had bought a 56% stake in Gateway Insurance Company for about $8m. The deal gives Sanlam an opportunity to sell the full gamut of nonbanking financial services in Kenya.

‘Tired, Sickly’ Mugabe Has Nothing to Offer Zimbabweans – MDC
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says Zimbabweans should not expect “anything meaningful” to come out of President Robert Mugabe’s state of the nation address (Sona) scheduled for Tuesday.
In a statement sent to News24, the MDC said Mugabe, 91, won’t proffer any sustainable solutions to the country’s economic and political crisis.

Africa – 25 August 2015

Burundi police ‘tortured’ anti-Nkurunziza protesters
Burundi’s security forces have tortured suspected opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third-term bid, Amnesty International says.
The rights group details how people arrested for allegedly taking part in demonstrations have been mistreated to extract information.
The government has not yet responded.
Burundi has experienced months of turmoil following April’s announcement that the president would run for a third term.

Analysts: Burundi Crisis Not Over
Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza was sworn in for a third term last Thursday, as critics continue to accuse him of hijacking democracy by breaking terms limits in the nation’s constitution.
In taking the oath of office, Nkurunziza swore to uphold the constitution and defend the best interests of the Burundian nation. But the United States said it was an inauguration without a government that represents the population’s many political voices, and won’t resolve the political and security crisis in Burundi.
Voice of America

Lesotho’s instability means no place for SADC chairmanship
The decision to pass Lesotho over again for the chairpersonship of the Southern African Development Community’s organ on security was taken unanimously by SADC leaders at their summit here and even Lesotho’s own government recommended it.
“The government of Lesotho is of the view that it cannot take over the chairmanship of the Sadc Organ in the middle of the aforementioned inquiry in our country,” Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili said in a statement released late on Monday, the first day of the summit which ends on Tuesday. The decision was taken at a meeting of SADC’s Organ for Politics, Defence and Security on Sunday night, and it was ratified by all the region’s leaders in the full summit on Monday. The year-long tenure has gone to Mozambique instead.
The Citizen

Sadc to tighten monitoring of shaky Lesotho
POLITICAL instability and violence in Lesotho will take centre stage at the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit starting Monday, where a decision will be made on an early warning mechanism to monitor instability in the landlocked country.
Lesotho has been in turmoil since an attempted coup late last year that resulted in Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa being appointed as a facilitator by Sadc and tasked with brokering a settlement between the feuding parties.

Swaziland – 25 August 2015

Swaziland ‘To Build $3bn Shipping Port’
The Government of Swaziland, an impoverished African nation with no coastline, has backed a plan to build a shipping port which will cost an estimated US$3 billion.
The scheme follows the completion of an ‘international’ airport, built in a wilderness that cost an estimated US$250 million to construct. Fewer than 150 passengers fly out of the King Mswati III Airport at Sikhuphe on any given day.

The High Court has reviewed, corrected and set aside the Swaziland Revenue Authority’s (SRA) decision to seize 81 bales of blankets belonging to Reliable General Dealers for alleged false declaration.
The court further set aside SRA’s decision to impose penalties against Reliable General Dealers. SRA was demanding a payment of E277 174.64 from Tsembeka Bobhuti Investment (Pty) Limited trading at Reliable General Dealers.
According to the authority, the money was in respect of duties, tax dues as well as an imposed penalty for alleged false declaration in relation to irregular imported blankets.
Times of Swaziland

Western Sahara – 25 August 2015

UN SG Calls for Rapid Settlement of Western Sahara Conflict
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the umpteenth time for a rapid settlement of the Western Sahara conflict, in a report on the development of the Saharawi question submitted to the General Assembly which should begin its work on 15 September.
The UN SG’s call was launched “because of the volatility of the dangers in the area, proximity to extremist and terrorist groups, the growing frustration of young people and the suffering of tens of thousands of refugees who are beginning to lose faith in the political solution,” explained the Secretary General, in the report submitted Thursday to the General Assembly, which should begin its work on September 15 and focus on the development of the question of Western Sahara from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

European Human Rights Activists Expelled From Occupied El Aiun
European searchers and human rights activists have been driven out of the occupied town of El Aiun, Western Sahara, by Moroccan occupation forces, to prevent them from enquiring about the situation of human rights in the occupied territories.
A Spanish and a French activists, who were due to meet with the Coordination of Saharawi Human Rights Groups, have been forced to leave the territories by Moroccan occupation authorities.

South Sudan – 25 August 2015

S Sudan ‘keen’ on mending Sudan ties
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday received a written message from his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir Mayardit dealing with the realisation of peace in the South Sudan and the bilateral ties.
The message was delivered to al-Bashir by South Sudan’s Presidential Adviser Tot Galwak who arrived in Khartoum on Monday.

South Sudan says rebels overrun strategic town in Central Equatorial
South Sudanese government admitted that rebel forces under the leadership of former vice president, Riek Machar, unexpectedly overran a strategic town in central Equatoria state on Monday morning, causing panic and anxiety among the local population.
State officials and residents told Sudan Tribune on Monday that armed men attacked Lainya town before they withdrew from the area.
Sudan Tribune