Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pity the fools...
It's pretty indicative of the pathetic state of the SADC's governance influence when a conference largely concerned with resolving the Zimbabwean situation allows Mugabe to crow of the 'total support' of SADC states. Mugabe triumphantly and gleefully announced at a rally over the weekend:
“We got full backing. Not even one [of the member states] criticised our actions ... There is no country in SADC that can stand up and say Zimbabwe has faulted. SADC does not do that, it is not a court but an organisation of 14 countries that co-operate with each other and support each other.”
Whilst I'm pretty sure Mugabe was using poetic license in the stretch that no SADC states found no fault with him, it's even more pathetic that not one statement has been released by any member state condemning his comments.

Chris Maroleng of the ISS has argued that there were discussions and even a dressing down of Mugabe at the conference, but if you allow him to make such statements refuting this, what surely is the point? Even more hopelessly optimistic, Shadrack Gutto, head of the Centre for African Renaissance Studies at the University of South Africa said yesterday, "What Zimbabwe has called an internal matter is now being handled at a regional level. To that extent, it is a major breakthrough". If that's what were celebrating these days, it is sad indictment on what we call progress.

After the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs' recent comments chastising Mugabe, there was much hope that this conference could lay some foundation for change. But... nothing. Farewell SADC's credibility. Farewell SADC's influence as a force of democracy. And unfortunately we may as well say, farewell NEPAD. Mbeki's African Renaissance is in danger of unraveling, not north of Southern Africa as we may have suggested, but right here, at home.