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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07PRETORIA3939 2007-11-13 15:21:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pretoria
Cable title:  

(C) ALLEGATIONS OF POLITICAL INTERFERENCE

Tags:   PGOV KDEM SF 
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RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #3939/01 3171521
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 131521Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2659
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 5078
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9375
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 003939 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/2017
TAGS: PGOV KDEM SF
SUBJECT: (C) ALLEGATIONS OF POLITICAL INTERFERENCE

PRETORIA 00003939 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4(
b) and (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: In the run-up to the ANC national conference
16-20 December, allegations of bribes and intimidation
directed at ANC branch members and Polokwane delegates are
surfacing from Zuma, Mbeki, and Sexwale camps. Press reports
allege that ANC branch members in North West are being
intimidated into voting for Mbeki and followers, while
pro-Zuma regional and provincial ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal
are being sent out to oversee all branch meeting where
nominations and conference delegations are discussed.
Embassy officers also have been hearing reports of cash,
cars, and positions being offered or promised and voting
conference delegates being monitored. If true, the
manipulation of votes, hopes and fears underscores the
intensity of what is turning out to be a knock-down, drag-out
succession race. In the long-term, it also could set a
disturbing trend that undermines South Africa's democratic
institutions. END SUMMARY.



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NO DEBATE NEEDED


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2. (C) According to press reports, supporters of ANC Deputy
President Jacob Zuma and Tokyo Sexwale have complained that
they are being intimidated by Mbeki's camp. ANC branches in
the Mafikeng region of North West have written to ANC
Secretary General Kgalema Motlanthe to complain that they are

SIPDIS
being threatened by the provincial leadership to support
Mbeki for a third term. They also have complained that the
provincial executive committee (PEC) is trying to impose a
list of pro-Mbeki names on branches and that some anti-Mbeki
branches are being purposefully disqualified from voting.
North West ANC Secretary Supra Mahumapelo publicly confirmed
that the PEC drew up an "official document" with names of who
should be nominated, but denied intimidating anyone, saying
branches were free to disagree. (COMMENT: This is not
surprising. During a trip to Mafikeng in August, a
councillor told PolOff that the PEC had instructed regions
not to discuss the "two centers of power" debate. When asked
if this meant grassroots members had no say, he said matter
of factly, "Oh no, we'll let them debate, but the majority
feeling has already been established." END COMMENT)



3. (C) ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal have complained about
intimidation from pro-Zuma supporters. According to press
reports, pro-Zuma regional and provincial leaders are
deploying officials to run branch meetings where nominations
and conference delegations are decided. Press reports also
note an eThekwini regional official canceled a branch meeting
after members decided to deviate from the pro-Zuma list that
was drawn up by the provincial leadership for them. ANC
members also are publicly complaining that officials are
keeping tabs on anyone who "sells out," meaning voting for
anyone other than Zuma. An anonymous ANC member is publicly
quoted as saying, "this creates an environment where there is
no discussion, as branch members who do not back Zuma are
effectively intimidated into keeping quiet if they want to be
on the list of delegates." (COMMENT: This comment begs the
question of whether voting delegates are going to vote the
way they are expected. END COMMENT)



--------------------------


THE PRICE OF LOYALTY


--------------------------





4. (C) Pietermaritzburg's (KwaZulu-Natal) municipal manager,
Rob Haswell, and mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo (who is also an ANC
QRob Haswell, and mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo (who is also an ANC
regional executive member, Albert Luthuli's granddaughter,
and probably pro-Zuma) also complained separately to Durban
Consul General on 06 November about the high level of bribery
involved in swaying Polokwane's voting delegates. The Mayor
said specifically that six brand new vehicles had shown up in
the area recently, and that ANC members were driving Audis
and other vehicles that were definitely beyond their means.
ANC Researcher Wande Makalima (protect) told PolOff on 07
November that he also has heard that votes are being bought,
especially in Gauteng province, but refused to elaborate. He
did caution, however, that though people may take money, it
does not necessarily mean they are in your pocket. "At the
end of the day, it's a secret ballot and loyalty can't always
be bought," he said.



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WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK (LITERALLY)

PRETORIA 00003939 002.2 OF 002




--------------------------





5. (C) Business Day political editor Karima Brown (protect)
also told PolOff on 31 October that she is getting calls
"everyday" from Polokwane delegates complaining about
political pressure. She said in some instances, delegates
are being assigned "minders to watch their every move and
meet their every need." She also said that there is cash and
the promise of jobs being passed around at the individual,
branch, and provincial level. Both Hlatshwayo and Haswell
also said they believe that cash is being doled out, but did
not say who was giving it to whom.



--------------------------


ALLEGATIONS UNDERSCORE UNCERTAINTY


--------------------------





6. (C) Mayor Hlatshwayo believes the level of corruption
signals the desperation involved in the ANC election process.
She also added that she fully expected the Presidency to be
contested at the conference, noting that there is "too much
at stake" for it to be otherwise. Haswell, Hlatshwayo, and
Brown separately mentioned that tensions within the ANC were
higher than they had ever seen. Brown, especially, expressed
concern about both the short and long-term implications of
vote buying, wondering what is being promised after the
election and the long-term impact on democracy in South
Africa.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





7. (C) Post cannot confirm the scale of intimidation or
alleged attempts at vote-buying, or even whether such acts
have been self-initiated by partisan loyalists and advocates
or directed by competing leadership contestants. Some form
of political intimidation -- even political violence,
including targeted killings of "political enemies" -- is not
new to the ANC, but if combined with corruption of votes to
be cast in December, it could have profound immediate, short
and long-term effects. Most immediately, these allegations
are reinforcing the widely-held belief by Mbeki's detractors
(whether true or not) that Mbeki is willing to win at all
costs. They also have the potential to disrupt or mar the
election result in December, if enough delegates decide to
cry foul play. If allegations are more widespread than we
are led to believe, they also could represent a risk to South
Africa's young democracy.
BOST