Conspiracy suspicions

2008-03-15 00:00

Suddenly Mauritius has become a fashionable destination for South African politicians. African National Congress president Jacob Zuma recently tried to persuade a Mauritian court, and more questionably the island’s president, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, that documents central to his corruption case should not be released.

This week President Thabo Mbeki paid a visit to celebrate independence day. Officials maintain this was a long-standing invitation. But the anniversary was relatively insignificant and the discussion topics mundane. And why, 40 years on, has Mauritius, renowned for stability and ethnic harmony, rediscovered a colonial past that warrants South African advice on a truth commission?

It is hard to believe that this and talks about Indian Ocean security could not have been left to foreign affairs officials. Mbeki wisely cancelled his meeting with the chief justice. But Zuma might be justified in suspecting again the political conspiracy he alleged at the time of his removal as deputy president.

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