Zuma's secret deal with dictator

2013-08-25 08:51
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - The Central African Republic’s ousted dictator Francois Bozize says President Jacob Zuma’s broken promises made during a secret back-room deal led to his downfall.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times in Paris last week, the deposed strongman said that he sent his son, Jean Francis Bozize - then the CAR’s defence minister - to Pretoria in December to cut a deal with Zuma to send enough South African troops and weapons to halt the Seleka rebel advance on the capital, Bangui – but far fewer than promised arrived.

He also said he held frantic talks for three hours with Zuma just three days before Bangui fell, to remind him to honour their back-room deal. He said he held Chad’s President Idriss Deby, his former friend who backed the coup that put Bozize in power in 2003, personally responsible for the deaths of 15 South African soldiers when his troops let rebel columns advance on Bangui without putting up a fight.

Bozize said he is lobbying for support to return to power, hinting that he might use force if necessary.

Public documents sought

Democratic Alliance defence spokesperson David Maynier told SAPA in April that the DA were demanding to see the  second memorandum of understanding between South Africa and the CAR, which formed an important piece in the puzzle surrounding South Africa's involvement in political upheaval in the CAR.

Maynier was reported to have said that the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, told Parliament's joint standing committee on defence that this document, signed in December 2012, was the basis for South Africa's mandate in the CAR. 

Clashes with rebels in the strife-torn country resulted in the deaths of the South African soldiers.

According to the government, this new agreement differed from the initial military 2007 agreement signed by then President Thabo Mbeki with CAR president Francois Bozize, who has now been removed from office.

- News24
Read more on:    sandf  |  jacob zuma  |  car  |  car uprisings  |  central africa  |  politics
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