Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, February 07, 2005

DA's trip to Zim: Publicity or Productivity?
The DA's announcement of their imminent "fact-finding" mission to Zimbabwe, following freshly on Cosatu's recent expulsion for the same 'crime', has been met with condemnation by some, and encouragement by others. Joe Seremane said on Cape Talk this morning that they were going to speak to a cross-section of the nation, from farmers, to urban dwellers, to Zanu-PF and the MDC, to determine the political climate in the run-up to the Zimbabwean elections.

The ANC has termed it to be "highly provocative" and that they "must stay away from that situation... they are not doing any good to our neighbour."

So will this trip be productive? In my view, any activity that continues to draw attention to Zimbabwe's election inadequacies is a good thing. Whether they are turned away at the border (highly likely) or manage to make a visit, the publicity given will continue to challenge both local and international views on Zimbabwe.

Is it coincidental that it will garner strong publicity for the DA? Naturally. But that doesn't correlate to it being a bad idea. The only natural problem will be if the DA goes looking for election improprieties without objectivity in order to make petty jibes at ANC policy. Then this trip will be a wasted effort...