Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ambassador's Courtesy Call on Foreign Minister - Zimbabwe

South Africa's foreign minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, last year proposed exposing "the dirty actions" of President Robert Mugabe's security chiefs, according to a cable from the U.S. ambassador in South Africa.

The cable, published by WikiLeaks, said that in a meeting between the minister and U.S. ambasssador to South Africa, Donald Gips, in November 2009, she "expressed great frustration with President Mugabe, saying that 'we cannot do quiet diplomacy forever' and calling him 'the crazy old man'."

The cable continued: "She said we must all support Prime Minister Tsvangirai, but she expressed disappointment that he withdrew from the government without consulting South Africa and other international partners."

Nkoana-Mashabane asked Gips whether the U.S. had instructed Tsvangirai to pull out of meetings of the unity government. Gips replied "that to his knowledge this was not the case, noting that Tsvangirai 'walked' without any consultation and seemingly without a plan."

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