African National Congress President Jacob Zuma stated in blunt terms the Zimbabwe election fiasco was a violation of the rights of its people. “It’s not acceptable. It’s not helping the Zimbabwean people who have gone out to..elect the kind of party and presidential candidate they want, exercising their constitutional right.” His comments distanced the incoming president of South Africa from Thabo Mbeki whose timid reaction to the violation of Zimbabwean rights has been severely condemned by other African nations. Zuma told reporters, “the electoral commission must isssue the results because it is actually destoryng its own credibility as an institution that is supposed to be neutral.”
For the first time, a South African leader acted as a leader when Zuma said “I imagine the leaders in Africa should really move in to unlock this logjam. Concretely, this means African countries should identify some people to go in there, probably talk to both parties, call them and ask them what the problem is, as well as (talk to) the electoral commission.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese government, which shipped a boat load of weapons to the Mugabe government, may have second thoughts about its delivery since dockworkers in African nations are opposing unloading the cargo. They may decide to back off on delivery due to problems created by the dockworkers. China may unleash another storm of world protest if it proceeds with sending arms to a nation whose leader has denied his people their right to freely elect a president.