Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
AT FACE value, President Jacob Zuma's reassurance to Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai that he will have a word with President Robert Mugabe on the issues that Tsvangirai discussed with Msholozi sounds ridiculous.
Surely all the world knows by now that Mugabe cannot feign ignorance of the issues that have blighted what was supposed to be a government of national unity in Zimbabwe.
Even if nobody had told him, a man of Mugabe's intelligence would know that arbitrarily arresting members of parliament of a party that you are supposed to be in a coalition government with will send doubt as to your commitment to the marriage everyone knew was of convenience.
Zuma's noncommittal stance creates the impression that those hoping for a diplomatic stance louder than that adopted by his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, were too optimistic.
The message to civil society here and in Zimbabwe is clear. Political elites will go on seeing or hearing no evil where neighbouring states are concerned.
It means that civil society must take up the cudgels again and agitate for meaningful change in Zimbabwe.
While we recognise the progress that has been made so far, including Tsvangirai's elevation to prime minister, it is clear the politicians have wasted precious time sorting Zimbabwe out.
Put differently, we expect the likes of Cosatu and the SACP to go on leading civil society's agitation for meaningful change in how South Africa deals with the Zimbabwean question.