HARARE – The under-fire South African President Jacob Zuma has decided not to attend the inauguration of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, amid reports he is too embarrassed over the disputed election and the way he handled it.
The inauguration follows the ruling by the discredited Constitutional Court ruling ofZimbabwe on 20 August 2013 that Mugabe is the duly elected president of Zimbabwe.
South African Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will represent the South African Government at the inauguration ceremony.
The inauguration is scheduled for 22 August 2013.
Zuma was among the first Heads of State and Government to congratulate Mugabe on 03 August 2013 following the announcement of the results by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission.
In his statement, Zuma reiterated South Africa’s readiness to continue to partner with Zimbabwein pursuit of mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit has praised Zuma for his mediation in the Zimbabwean political impasse but majority of Zimbabweans feel aggrieved that the elections were fraudulent.
Since taking over from former President Thabo Mbeki, questions have been raging over South African President Jacob Zuma’s mediation efforts and he appeared to be attendive to the opposition grievances, but this has been proved wrong lately as he appears to have been grotesquely working to aid Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Analysts believe South Africa and Nigeria, represented by the African Union election observer mission head Olusegun Obasanjo lend weight to President Mugabe in order to facilitate in their respective counries extended clandestine foreign policy interests as the battle for permanent seats on a reformed United Nations Security Council heats up.
Zuma has been credited with being harder on President Robert Mugabe than his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, but the jury is now out that he has been double-faced on his mediation process. Zimbabwean opposition, especially the out-going Prime Minister Morgan feels betrayed by Zuma.
At some point, Zanu PF felt aggrieved at Zuma’s mediation team and process, the South African president was accused of not being hands-on as compared to Mbeki’s mediation team, which yielded the GPA.
‘Mugabe, Zuma are revolutionaries’
In the run-up to ANC leadership contest, analysts felt Mugabe wanted to see the back of Zuma, as he felt the negotiation process was skewed against him, triggering rumours of a tiff between the two leaders.
However, Zuma dispelled reports about bad blood between him and the Zimbabwean president, saying the two were revolutionaries, with mutual respect for each other.
This has come to fore in the way he has allowed Mugabe to steal an election seemingly with the conniving and approval of the South African President who himself is also facing a tricky election for his party in December this year. Zimbabwe Mail