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2008 harmonised elections - Index of articles
to President Thabo Mbeki
April 01, 2008
President of the Republic of South Africa
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Aziz Pahad, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
1 April 2008
Dear Mr. President,
I write on behalf of
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, an organization
headquartered in South Africa, with members in 120 countries.
As you may be aware,
our mandate is to support and strengthen civil society and citizen
action around the world and in that context we have been engaging
with the situation in Zimbabwe for some years. The focus of our
work there is to support our brothers and sisters on the ground
in Zimbabwe and offer solidarity in their time of difficulty.
We valued highly the
opportunity in July 2007 to meet with the Deputy Minister for Foreign
Affairs to discuss progress in your SADC mandate to facilitate discussions
around Zimbabwe. In particular, we appreciated his recognition of
the value of civil society contributions to the process and were
pleased to note that shortly afterwards a consultation with Zimbabwean
civil society was held.
I now write to you to
raise increasing concerns from our civil society colleagues in Zimbabwe.
As you are undoubtedly aware, serious doubts have been raised about
the election process, apparent rigging and the delay in announcing
results. While it is too early for election observers to release
their full reports, some have already raised serious concerns -
within the SADC team for instance, we understand that some observers
have refused to sign the preliminary report due to the grave defects
in the polls.
When Africans are faced
with troubles, other Africans must step forward to assist. During
South Africa's darkest hours under apartheid, Zimbabweans
held out their hands in support. Now that it is Zimbabwe that is
facing near ruin, it is South Africa's turn to show leadership
and guidance to other African nations and solidarity to the people
We need only look to
Kenya to see the tragedy that can unfold during volatile post-election
periods. This catastrophe could be repeated in Zimbabwe, if election
processes are not dealt with in a timely, lawful and transparent
We respectfully request
on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, and our members
in Africa and worldwide, that you do all you can to ensure that
the Zimbabwean government respects the will of the people. We humbly
suggest that your leadership in calling for transparency could prevent
a tragedy from occurring.
Secretary General, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
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